Lawmakers in Japan are introducing the country’s first laws against upskirting and other types of “photo voyeurism.” If you take any kind of sexually exploitative photos or videos without consent, it could send you to jail for up to three years, or you’ll need to pay a fine of up to 3 million Japanese yen (~$22,100).
The new bill proposal comes after growing public outcry asking for stronger laws that would criminalize “photo voyeurism.” According to Japan Times, this issue is particularly serious for young athletes. They are often a target of people who secretly take their photos at fields and courts, and then share them on the internet. Former national volleyball team member Kana Oyama, said that this kind of “sneak photography” is a “remaining issue,” especially for competitive athletes.
Oyama told Japan Times that she first encountered “photo voyeurism” when she was in junior high school. While she was changing out of her uniform at a venue with no locker room, her coach warned that someone was taking photos of her. “I feel a responsibility to create an environment where children can genuinely engage in sports,” Oyama said about her call for stronger legislation.
As this source notes, the law so far had people fined according to prefectural anti-disturbance ordinances. However, these ordinances differ from municipality to municipality, and they vary greatly. The new law would be equal on the entire Japanese territory, fining perpetrators and even sending them to prison, depending on the offense.
Some countries and states like the UK, Tennessee, Kyoto, and Hong Kong have already criminalized upskirting and other forms of clandestine photography. In Japan, it’s expected that the new law will be passed in June this year.