Newsflash: using children in photoshoots with naked adults may be a bad idea.
Unfortunately for publisher Kodansha (Young Magazine), that realization came a bit too late, as the photo involving a kid holding AKB48‘s Kasai Tomomi‘s tittays is turning into quite a problem for them.
One journalist expects Kodansha to suffer a substantial monetary loss. “With a circulation of 650,000 copies, losses in terms of printing, advertising, and subscription fees will be over 300 million yen,” says Masaaki Hiruma.
Masaru Wakasa, a lawyer and former deputy director of special investigations at the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office, says that under such statutes Kodansha is prohibited from harmfully influencing the mind and body of a child less 18 years of age through obscene acts. “In this case, a juvenile is touching the chest of an adult woman,” says Wakasa. “Kodansha did not judge this to be in violation of the law.”
The article notes that guilty verdicts for violating child welfare laws for obscenities carry a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine of three million yen.
Shocking, who could have possibly thought that this might end up bad?
In fact, it’s moved beyond speculation, as police are now actively investigating the issue.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police interviewed staff members at publisher Kodansha regarding whether an erotic photograph of a member of pop group AKB48 constitutes ‘child pornography,’ reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 18).
According to investigators, it must be determined whether the photo is real. “The act of (a child) touching a woman’s nipples (as in that photo) is prohibited by law,” investigators are quoted by the Sankei.
Investigators are reportedly taking into consideration the fact that the publication of the photo was scrapped, but are also looking at building a case against Kodansha. “In comparison to Japan, penalties in Europe for using a young boy in child pornography are more severe,” the Sankei quotes the investigative team. “We are taking into account that this could be a problem at an international level.”
The article notes that in Japan a guilty verdict for violating child pornography laws carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of five million yen.
So yeah, probably just not a solid decision all the way around. I would be surprised if anything substantial comes of this (jail time), but a fine would seem to be likely.
Either way, if she did this for attention, I don’t think this is the type of attention Kasai Tomomi wanted, because it’s not scandalous as much as it is … uh … illegal? Look, whenever your name is connected with child pornography, any publicity gained from that isn’t going to be a net positive, put it that way.