Prosecutors sought jail time for creator of Please Tell Me! Galko-chan.

In late December Kenya Suzuki, creator of manga Please Tell Me! Galko-chan, was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography and violation of customs laws. On Tuesday, Nagoya District Court’s Okazaki Branch rendered its verdict in the trial, finding Suzuki guilty.

The customs law violation involves Suzuki’s purchase of magazines published by a German nudist organization, which included (in Suzuki’s own words) “photos of nude children from overseas, which you can’t get in Japan.” He was also found to be in possession of (again, in his own words) “a collection of nude photos of young girls” which he purchased via a Japanese auction site. Suzuki claims that all of the books were legal at the time of their publishing but have since become illegal under subsequent revisions to Japanese law. However, Suzuki purchased the books in 2020 and 2021, and with no significant changes to Japan’s child pornography laws since then, it’s unlikely the books were legal at the time he bought them.

Prosecutors sought jail time for Suzuki, requesting one year and two months in prison, and presiding judge Kan Ishii did hand down such a sentence, saying “Promoting the sexual exploitation of children is a malicious and socially damaging crime.” However, citing “societal sanctions” that have already been placed on Suzuki, Ishii has also suspended the sentence for three years, meaning that if Suzuki stays out of trouble with the law for that long, he won’t be spending time in prison for his crimes.

Following the verdict Suzuki released statements in both Japanese and English, in which he admits his guilt and says he does not intend to appeal the court’s decision. He also asserts that he purchased the books strictly for “[his] own personal interest,” and that they were not intended, or ever used as, drawing references for his manga. “I am deeply ashamed of my own lack of awareness and shallow behavior…I will strictly admonish myself so that I will not commit the crime again,” he adds.

The serialization of Please Tell Me! Galko-chan has been suspended since the week of Suzuki’s arrest, and publisher Kadokawa has made no statement about whether or not the series will resume.

Source: The Sankei News, Twitter/@suzuki_kenya
Top image: Pakutaso
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