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Japan internet providers block child porn

A group of Japanese internet service providers started blocking access to child porn websites on Thursday as part of efforts to crack down on the spread of sexually explicit images of children.

Japan is seen as a major global source of child pornography in photo and video form — despite production and distribution being outlawed — and authorities have stepped up efforts to contain the problem.

The possession of child porn remains legal in Japan.

The Internet Content Safety Association, established in March with 21 member companies, said nine leading providers had started preventing users from accessing sites containing pornographic images of children.

More than 100 websites are subject to the block, said local media reports.

The nine companies, including NEC Biglobe, NTT Communications and KDDI, between them cover about 50% to 70% of online households, according to the National Policy Agency.

The association has been making a list of internet addresses subject to the block, based on information from the Internet Hotline Centre Japan, which monitors illegal and harmful information on the internet, it said.

Meanwhile, four major internet search sites, including Google and Yahoo Japan, are ensuring that sites subject to blocking do not show up in their search results, the association said.

Law enforcers took action in 1 342 child porn cases in 2010, up 43,5% from the previous year, to reach a new record since such data was first compiled in 2000, according to the National Police Agency. — Sapa-AFP

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