Japan has introduced a one-year prison term and tough penalties for cyberbullying. The change came into effect on Thursday as a move to curb online harassment and abuse. The new Penal Code significantly increases the fine for online insults to $2,200 from $75.
Hana Kimura was a cast member of the popular Netflix reality TV show Terrace House.
Two men were originally fined for posting comments about her before her death, but many people argued that the penalties were too lenient and she should have been punished more severely.
The proposed amendment was submitted during this year’s National Diet session and passed by the lower house plenary on June 13.
Japan’s Justice Minister Furukawa: Cyberbullying is a crime that should be severely dealt with, and acts as a deterrent. He stressed that the move would not act as an “unjustified restriction on freedom of expression” for Japanese citizens to voice their opinions online.
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