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Police Investigate AKB48 Child Porn: “The Boy Was White!”

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Police are investigating the possibility of arresting those involved with AKB48 idol Tomomi Kasai’s recent child breast fondling photo shoot scandal for child pornography offences, because the boy touching her breasts “looked European.”

According to media reports, the child welfare division of the Tokyo police force has been questioning editorial staff with Kodansha in relation to possible child pornography or child abuse offences connected to their recent withdrawal of a highly controversial photograph.

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The photo, which supposedly depicts a “foreign child” covering Kasai’s breasts with his hands, was withdrawn along with the rest of the magazine before it reached distributors, but this did not stop it being leaked and used to fuel a series of accusations of child pornography against the parties involved.

Police are said to be investigating whether this non-publication of the offending image warrants charges of distributing child pornography, an unsurprisingly serious if at times narrowly defined offence under Japanese law (and an interesting one considering the photograph was subsequently widely reproduced online and in newspapers without censure).

Child pornography charges would rest upon courts finding the images “incite lust,” and would attract a maximum sentence of 5 years, as would charges of child prostitution, another possible offence.

Police say the fact that the boy pictured appears to be white is the driving force behind the investigation: “we have taken into account that a boy of European descent was used, as punishments for child pornography offences there are more severe than in Japan and it may become an international issue” – apparently indicating it would have been acceptable to use a mere Asian child.

When the photo first surfaced, many were quick to point out that if the genders were reversed and Kasai were a man having a little girl touch her, she would likely face rapid arrest and public ruin – although others have pointed out that images of women breast-feeding young boys (such as Time’s famous cover, or even a scene in top US fantasy drama Game of Thrones) enjoy sacrosanct status even in the US.

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Still others doubt the image is anything more than a crude Photoshop in any case – although whether any of this will help Kodansha and AKB48 is another matter.

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