Japan seems to be having quite a few problems when it comes to child exploitation recently. Mainichi is reporting that there's been a spike in child abuse and child pornography cases this year, reaching record highs:
There's certainly a strong argument that this number would be a lot higher if it were not for lolicon material being allowed in the country. Now, the argument is very much like the chicken or egg scenario -- does the existance of this material cause more incidents because it creates more lolicons, or does it stop those who are on the dangerous edge from acting out more often?
The article goes on to cite that the overall number of child deaths have gone down by 35%, but the overall number of cases has gone up 22%. The fact that these cases are still in the low hundreds means that a sudden outbreak by one or two people can cause a huge swing in the percentage reports.
As for the child abuse, the largest number of cases comes from sexual assault -- 27 out of the 120 incidents. A quarter of the abuse cases happened to children aged one year or younger.
Many of the children, according to the article, were lured to the predators via BBS systems on the Internet -- a sign of just how pervasive Japan's use of the Internet has become. In my mind, this shows that it's not necessarily lolicon material that causes people to act like this -- they're already sexual deviants, and they're now taking greater advantage of what tools they have at their disposal.
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