|Justice Minister Iwaki Adresses 2015 Crime Statistics|
The number of children under 18 who have become victims of child pornography in Japan rose to a record-high 905 in 2015, up 159 from the year before, a police report showed Thursday.
Most of the victims were girls, with about 40% having been tricked or coerced into photographing themselves naked, according to the National Police Agency.
The number of investigated child pornography cases totaled 1,938, up 110 from the previous year and a record-high, including possession of pornographic images that became punishable last year under a revised law to protect children from sexual exploitation.
Facing criticism over its loose regulations compared with other industrialized nations, Japan began punishing the production of child pornography through the use of spy cameras in July 2014 and the possession of child pornography for the purpose of satisfying sexual curiosity in July 2015.
In 2015, police investigated 1,063 cases over the production of child pornography, of which 110 involved spy cameras. Seventeen cases were investigated in connection with the simple possession of pornographic images.
Most of the victims were either junior high school or high school students, but the youngest victim was an 8-month-old boy who was photographed by a male babysitter, according to the report.
Among the 144 victims under the age of 13, some 45% were victims of rape or molestation.
The police have collected the data on child pornography from 2000.
In separate data released the same day, the National Police Agency said it confirmed 2,051 cases of unauthorized computer system access in 2015, down 1,494 from the year before and marking the first decrease since 2012.
The police attributed the fall to a sharp drop in spoofing, including cases in which free mobile messaging app Line account was taken over by an unknown person. After many users saw their accounts stolen, Line Corp stepped up cybersecurity measures.