Japan Lower House OKs Bill to Toughen Defamation Penalty

Politics

Tokyo, May 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's House of Representatives on Thursday passed a Penal Code amendment for toughening penalties for defamation, a move designed to better prevent online bullying.

The lower chamber of the Diet, the country's parliament, approved the bill at a plenary meeting by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, and opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party).

The legislation was immediately sent to the House of Councillors, the upper chamber. It will likely be enacted during the ongoing regular parliamentary session.

The amendment calls for adding a jail term of up to one year with or without labor and fines of up to 300,000 yen as statutory penalties for the crime of defamation. At present, short-term detention and fines of less than 10,000 yen are the only statutory penalties for the crime.

The legislation was submitted to the Diet after professional wrestler Hana Kimura, who had been bullied online, took her own life in 2020 at the age of 22.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press