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Cablegate: Ambassador Meets with Opposition Lawmakers to Discuss Child

VZCZCXRO5686
PP RUEHDT RUEHKW RUEHMA RUEHPB
DE RUEHKO #0947/01 0982253
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 072253Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3214
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNCRI/VIENNA CRIME COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 7124
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 9508
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA PRIORITY 5568
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 0793
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 7720
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIAO/HQ ICE IAO WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/JUSTICE DEPT WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 000947

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL, L/LEI, EAP/J
JUSTICE FOR CEOS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KCRM KOCI PREL JA
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR MEETS WITH OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS TO DISCUSS CHILD
PORNOGRAPHY

TOKYO 00000947 001.2 OF 003


1. Summary: Our consciences demand that we do something about
child pornography, the Ambassador told nine Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) Diet members during an April 2 meeting. Although some
people raise questions about possible abuses of police power, the
experience of the other six G8 countries that criminalize simple
possession is testimony that these concerns are invalid. Possession
of other contraband is already illegal in Japan; child pornography
should not be any different. In addition, preventing the child
abuse that is occurring every day is more important than preventing
a hypothetical future abuse. The DPJ is committed to protecting
children, replied the Diet members, but many DPJ members are
fervently opposed to increasing police power. It will be difficult
to convince some DPJ members that it is necessary to give extra
investigative authority to the police, some of the legislators
argued. End Summary.

2. One thing that demonstrates the child pornography epidemic is
the number of times people have cited the material appearing on the
internet, the Ambassador began. In 1998, one U.S. cyber-tipline
received 3,267 contacts about child pornography material. That same
line received 106,119 contacts in 2004. Although the development of
the internet has been a tremendous boon to business and commerce
around the world, it has also allowed the explosion of the "dark
side of life," allowing deviants to communicate with one another and
feel like their behavior is normal. We have to update our laws to
meet this explosion, which is why the United States and most of the
developed nations of the world have decided to criminalize the
possession of child pornography. When there is a market for child
pornography, people will exploit more and more children to make
money. It is heartbreaking to think that children abused at an
early age will have to grow up wondering when they might see their
image again on the internet, the Ambassador continued, and it is
difficult, if not impossible, for victims to ever fully heal from
the experience.

3. Sometimes when people talk about crimes of morality, such as
prostitution, gambling, or drug abuse, they refer to the crimes as
victimless, but child pornography can never be a victimless crime,
the Ambassador told the Diet members. By definition, a child cannot
give legal consent to engage in this kind of activity - child
pornography always begins with a crime. Those who possess it aid
and abet those who would abuse our children. "I don't believe that
any of us would want something like this to happen to our children,"
said the Ambassador, "and our consciences demand that we do
something about the problem." Some people say that a law like this
would be open to police abuse, and lawmakers must be sensitive in
that area. No one wants a criminal law to be an instrument of abuse
to the population. But those who talk about a possible future abuse
forget that children are now abused every day as a result of there
being no law.

4. The American people know that the United States is not perfect
when it comes to child pornography, the Ambassador acknowledged. We
must all do something about it, as Americans, as Japanese, as
citizens of the world. We all have a future in our children, and a
responsibility to protect those children, whatever their
nationality. During meetings with the Liberal Democratic Party and
with the Komeito, there was the same sense of revulsion about child
pornography, and the same desire to do something about it. In the
United States, this issue is above partisan politics, said the
Ambassador, noting that he hoped it could be the same in Japan: an
issue where members of all parties come together to try to do
something to protect our children.

5. Asked by Councillor Masako Ohkawara how the Ambassador came to
write his op-ed on child pornography, the Ambassador told her that
it started when the Embassy Legal Attach mentioned the difficulty
law enforcement officials and prosecutors had in enforcing child
pornography law in Japan. When the op-ed appeared in the paper,
there was an immediate response across all parties. "Nothing that
I've done has made me prouder to be the representative of the
American people than to get the response we did to the article," the
Ambassador stated.

6. The DPJ is very concerned about police power, said
Representative Yoko Komiyama. During the more-than-ten years that
she has worked on the issue, the legislation was reviewed several
times via a supra-party process, but DPJ lawyer members advocated

TOKYO 00000947 002.2 OF 003


strongly against increasing police power. During one such review in
2004, the discussions became "flaming hot," but those who wanted to
protect against police abuses outnumbered those who wanted to
criminalize simple possession. In addition, some people say that a
person who unwillingly received child pornography or possessed just
one magazine containing a child pornography image would be unfairly
punished if possession were to be criminalized. Komiyama asked if
there are any safeguards that can be put in place to prevent these
problems.

7. The fact that the six G8 countries that have criminalized simple
possession are not experiencing police abuse is testimony that
people can be protected against unintentional acts, the Ambassador
replied. Intent is necessary for a criminal law to be violated. It
is not a violation if someone is sent child pornography by accident
or mistake. On the other hand, it would be a violation if that
person solicited the child pornography on the internet or bought the
magazine at the store. In those cases, both elements of the crime
are present: the act of buying, and the mental state of intent.
When people talk about this concern, they have not thought through
what police abuse is, the Ambassador stated.

8. "I was one of the people opposed to making simple possession
illegal," Councillor Keiko Chiba told the Ambassador. Hopefully the
Diet can revise the law to better protect the rights of children,
she said, thanking the Ambassador for pointing out that it is
possible to prevent police from abusing their power. DPJ members
who want to criminalize possession must come up with good responses
to the concerns that their colleagues will raise, Chiba noted.
Japanese police have a long history of abuse, added Councillor Mieko
Kamimoto, including violence, forced confessions, and the conviction
of innocent people. Many Japanese people are worried about
investing more power in the police.

9. In the United States, the rights of children take precedence
over the possible abuse of police power, Embassy Tokyo Legal Attach
pointed out. Child Pornography is considered to be contraband just
like illegal guns or drugs. The same measures are in place to
prevent abuses in child pornography cases as there are for other
forms of contraband: cases are reviewed by judges, prosecutors, and
juries, and intent must always be proved. We also worry about the
rights of the individual in the United States, but in practice,
police don't go after people with one or two images. They go after
those who have hundreds of images, which they catalog and review;
it's their hobby or business. One important safeguard is the
careful definition of child pornography. Another is the vigorous
review of laws, a system which also exists in Japan, the Legal
Attach pointed out.

10. The possession of other contraband is already prohibited in
Japan today, the Ambassador added, and there is no discussion of
police abuse of those laws. Why should child pornography be any
different? We must be concerned and sensitive from the standpoint
of protecting rights, but we also have to be realistic. Children
are being abused today. While people are concerned at what might
happen if a law is passed, crimes are being committed today because
there is no law. The idea that protecting people from police abuse
is more important than protecting children is a view that is not
shared by many countries. Police already have many chances to abuse
their authority. Meanwhile victimized children have to worry that
they will see themselves being abused by an adult every time they
turn on the internet for the rest of their life.

11. During a meeting with the National Police Agency (NPA), police
officials said that in practice, Japanese law punishes many types of
child pornography crime, said Kamimoto. The NPA reports that they
handle more than 100 cases each year, and that a law criminalizing
simple possession is not necessary to fight child pornography.
Councillor Emiko Uematsu asked if the U.S. side could provide any
examples of how U.S.-Japan cooperation has not been successful due
to the lack of a child pornography law.

12. Every year the Embassy has passed cases to Japanese police,
requesting that they open an investigation, replied Embassy Legal
Attach. The Embassy enjoys very good cooperation with the police
on many issues, but Japanese law enforcement officials always tell
the Embassy that without a law banning simple possession, they
cannot participate in investigations. The most important goal of

TOKYO 00000947 003.2 OF 003


international investigations is to find producers and rescue
children. One recent bust involved five countries and 14 U.S.
states, and saved 20 children from further abuse. Now that the
internet is a part of our life, wherever you live world-wide, child
pornography requires international cooperation to address, agreed
Uematsu.

SIPDIS

13. The most important issue is that we start from the position
that we are going to protect children, said Representative Masayo
Tanabu, committing to galvanize opinions within the party. If the
DPJ supports the initiative, it will pass, replied the Ambassador.
"That would be a proud day for every political party, a proud day
for both Japanese and Americans," he finished.

14. The following participants were present:

United States:
Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer
Political Minister Counselor Mike Meserve
Legal Attach Larry Futa
ICE Attach Mike Cox
Political Officer Scott Hansen
Interpreter Fumiko Gregg

Japan:
C. Keiko Chiba - 4th term; lawyer; Chair of the Project Team to
consider revision to the anti-child pornography law; DPJ
Administration Committee Chair
Rep. Yoko Komiyama - 3rd term in the Lower House, served in the
Upper House for one term; DPJ "Next Cabinet" Minister of Education;
Deputy Chair of the Project Team to counter illegal and harmful
websites
C. Mieko Kamimoto - 2nd term; DPJ "Next Cabinet" Minister for State
of Children and Gender Equality
Rep. Miho Takai - 2nd term; Secretary-General of the Project Team to
counter illegal and harmful websites.
Rep. Masayo Tanabu - 2nd term; member of LH Special Committee on the
Youth and Related Issues
C. Masako Okawara - 1st term; served formerly as a Tokyo Prefecture
assembly member for ten years
C. Hiroe Makiyama - 1st term; received J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley
Law School; Passed bar exam in NY and Connecticut states.
C. Yumiko Himei - 1st term; judicial solicitor
C. Emiko Uematsu; 1st term

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