An Urgent Call for Stricter Punishment for Contempt Charges #EndTheHate

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日本語はこちら

I am the mother of the pro-wrestler Hana Kimura who appeared in “Terrace House”.

In the Kamakura era, slander was considered to be a serious felony. This was because people lost their lives in fights that started with bad language.
Today, online abuse is posted irresponsibly on the Internet everyday, in front of many people's eyes.

Those cyber bullying not only dishonor people, but also deeply hurt the feelings of others.
We are now living in an age where those abusive words have become a weapon, that not only damages people's feelings but also pushes them into a corner and, just as in the Kamakura period, can even take irreplaceable lives.

The current regulation on defamation was created in the Meiji era, when there was no such thing as the Internet. Therefore, the current defamation crimes are designed for verbal abuse, and are completely incompatible with the current age with social networking.
As was reported the other day, a man who wrote hate comments about my daughter: Hana, was only given a summary order for a fine of $90 (9,000 yen).

Nowadays, hate comments on the Internet can even take a person's life. I believe that this fine of $90 for a defamation charge is not a justifiable penalty, considering that we are living in 2021. 
The Ministry of Justice has stated that they are fully aware of the necessity to make the crime more severe, and that they will continue to examine the legal sentences. However, there is still no concrete plan as to when and how they will examine the aggravation of the crime.

I believe that slander charges need to be severely punished as soon as possible before another person’s life is lost.
Under the urgency of the situation, disclosure requests such as IP addresses are taking an immense amount of money, effort, and time to track slanderous comments. While some argue that legislation will be revised to allow for rapid disclosure, but given the short log data retention period and social providers’ uncooperative nature, I don’t think the victim’s burden and mental stress will change significantly.

As things stand, victims of slanders will have to wind up crying themselves to sleep in silence. Or even if they choose to report, they have to endure further slander for several months. In the meantime, their dignity and honor continues to be harmed, becoming increasingly ill, bullied and isolated, and sometimes ending their lives. Courts often say that you can recover afterwards, but it’s not that simple.
The state, the administration and the judiciary should recognize that people’s minds do not recover so easily.

Of course, it is still necessary to improve the law so that the slanderers can be promptly identified. However, I believe that it is also essential to make the defamation charges more severe, in order to save as many people as possible.

There are many people in Japan who are still suffering from online slanders.
I hope that the punishment will be made more severe as soon as possible and hope that stricter charges will have a deterrent effect on online slanders.

I hope many people will agree with me and support me on this urgent call.
Thank you.