|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Kiddy fiddlers quivering after teacher's arrest blows lid on Hokkaido child porn biz 2008,01,07
Weekly Playboy 12/24-31 By Ryann Connell
Shockwaves continue to reverberate months after the arrest of public elementary school vice principal Takayuki Hosoda on kiddy porn charges, according to Weekly Playboy (12/24-31).
Hosoda is on remand awaiting trial on a charge of violating the law banning child pornography following his arrest in October last year for allegedly paying a 16-year-old schoolgirl 6,000 yen for sex.
A subsequent police raid on the vice principal's home is said to have unearthed photos of 260 underage girls, 330 DVDs featuring obscene images and a brace of schoolgirl uniforms.
Police say Hosoda took obscene photos of over 600 underage girls and sent the images to various lowbrow publications, earning over 18 million yen in the seven years from 2000.
Hosoda's arrest shocked Hokkaido and some of the more unsavory elements of Japan's publishing industry.
"We adored Hosoda because he'd send us absolutely loads of photos of cute young girls. Photos from Hosoda almost guaranteed better sales," the editor one magazine, made up of readers' photos, tells Weekly Playboy.
There's nothing illegal in taking erotic photos. That is, unless the subject is underage and, like Hosoda is accused of doing, also lured into having sex.
Magazines that publish photos of girls under 17 are also liable to prosecution and in the ensuing months since Hosoda's arrest, his apprehension has made the magazines re-think how they do business.
"Frankly speaking, the only way you can tell if a girl in a photo is over 18 is by looking at her. It's a fact that this case has made police look much closer at what we're doing. If we do run a photo of an underage girl and the police can find out exactly who she is and how old she is, that's the end of our magazine," another editor of a readers' contribution magazine says.
"Even if we know a girl is 18 or 20, we won't run her photos now if she even looks younger than that because it's too risky. Hokkaido, where Hosoda came from, has traditionally been a great supplier of young girls' photos. I think one reason may be because the girls in the wide open spaces of Hokkaido are a bit more relaxed than in other parts of the country. So we've made sure we pay extra special attention to any submissions we get from Hokkaido."
One man -- described only as "M", a Hokkaido resident and a reader of the magazines of the type that Hosoda used to contribute to -- says teenage girls in the northernmost island prefecture are ripe for plucking by predators.
"Once women reach their 20s, they've picked up a bit of knowledge about how the world works and they'll very rarely let you take photos of them in the nude. Considering the likelihood they could be used against them, by being posted somewhere or to blackmail them, it's an understandable situation. But girls in their teens are defenseless and will soon strip off for about 5,000 yen in cash," M tells Weekly Playboy.
"If someone goes to a matchmaking cafe, they can confirm with their own eyes whether a girl is cute and then negotiate a price if they want to. Since Hosoda's arrest, though, the police have been much stricter on matchmaking cafes. The cafes themselves are also stringently checking the girls' IDs.
"The magazines are still attractive, though. If they run one of your photos, they'll pay around 5,000 yen for it. Send in a few photos of the same girl and you can get around 20,000 yen. That's enough to pay for the girl, the entrance fee to the matchmaking cafe and a love hotel afterward. It's one way to be able to mix business and pleasure." (By Ryann Connell)