In a first for Japan, two men have been arrested for posting loli links to a forum, and the two youths running the board were also arrested for failing to remove the links.
The two men, a 37-year-old pachinko parlour employee and a 37-year-old restaurant worker, were arrested on charges of public distribution of obscene material, after posting links to overseas websites carrying videos featuring under-18s, which would be illegal to distribute in Japan. They were each fined ¥500,000.
An additional arrest of a 41-year-old Korean man is also reported.
Additionally, the two students (19) who ran the site were also arrested, with police alleging that they knew of the links but did nothing to remove them; they admit the charges but say they thought they did nothing wrong.
To further complicate the matter, the forum itself was hosted in the USA, and Japanese authorities had the host provide details of the pair, and close the site.
It is not clear what the illegal content consisted of, or where it was hosted; such sites tend only to be established in countries with very liberal laws regarding underage pornography, such as Russia, but there are suspicions that the videos were merely uploaded to free file hosting services.
Japanese legal experts have raised concerns over the implications of the action, with Internet users now potentially facing charges for merely mentioning links to sites carrying illegal content (which in Japan could include uncensored pornography), or being the victim of redirects; site administrators too face dangers in allowing user submitted links…
The wave of recent unusual arrests based on new interpretations of the existing law is being greeted with suspicion by some, particularly with the Diet still discussing such matters…