Japan Introduces Legislation To Make 'Online Insults' Punishable By One Year In Prison In Wake Of Hana Kimura's Death

New legislation has been passed in Japan in response to Hana Kimura's death

Japan's parliament have passed legislation that makes 'online insults' punishable by imprisonment in response to Hana Kimura's death, CNN reported. The nation's penal code has been amended and convicted offenders could be jailed for up to one year or be fined up to 300,000 yen. The change will take effect this summer. 

The previous penalty was imprisonment for fewer than 30 days and a fine of up to 10,000 yen. 

The legislation was passed under the provision that it will be re-examined in three years to see if it has affected freedom of expression in Japan.

The legislation was introduced in Japan amidst concern over the death of World Wonder Ring STARDOM talent Hana Kimura, who committed suicide back on May 23, 2020, at the age of 22. Before her death, Kimura was subjected to online harassment and received approximately 300 hateful messages following an episode of reality series 'Terrace House' where she knocked a fellow housemate's hat off because they ruined her Wrestle Kingdom 14 outfit in the washing machine. 

Hana's mother Kyoko Kimura previously revealed that Hana told her the incident was staged by Terrace House producers. 

Following the passing of the new legislation, Kyoko Kimura praised the amendment, saying in a press conference: "I want people to know that cyberbullying is a crime."

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons