Japan passes law penalizing stalking in social media

TOKYO — A revised anti-stalking law took effect in Japan on Tuesday, Jan. 3, to crack down on online stalking via social networking services, which counselors warn is enmeshing a growing number of teenagers.

Photo credit: Apogee Social Media Group

Photo credit: Apogee Social Media Group

Acts deemed illegal under the law involve sending messages repeatedly through social media sites even though the recipient does not want to receive them and relentlessly leaving comments on someone’s blog.

Concerning stalking in general, the amended law allows public prosecutors to indict a suspect even if the person being stalked stops short of filing a criminal complaint for fear of retaliation and also extends the maximum term of imprisonment from six months to one year. – PNA/Kyodo

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