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Monday, March 05, 2018 

Japan's judicial system was too soft on Nobuhiro Watsuki

The mangaka Nobuhiro Watsuki (whose real name appears to be Nishiwaki), who'd been arrested a few months ago for child porn posession, has seen his trial at least a week ago, and the court's ruling has been pretty light:
Last year, the anime fandom was stunned when news broke regarding Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin. The artist was arrested in Japan for possessing child pornography, leaving the fate of his on-going manga up in the air. Now, a verdict has been handed down for Watsuki’s case according to Japanese law after a prolonged sentencing period.

According to the Tokyo Public Prosecutors Office, a summary of Watsuki’s indictment has been filed (via ANN) with the court. The 47-year-old was ordered by the Tokyo Summary Court to pay a fine of 200,000 yen for simple possession of child pornography on Tuesday. When converted to USD, the fine is just less than $2,000.
No jail time and only a monetary fine that you could probably buy an old Seat Malaga with right out of a used car lot? Man, is that cheap, yet it appears to sum up well what's wrong with Japan's legal system. Even if he didn't commit sexual assault per se, he still aided and abetted a serious offense entailing the abuse of underaged children. If they were more responsible, they'd give him a sentence of at least a decade in prison to think over how repugnant his conduct was. If the laws prohibiting live action child porn in Japan were passed in 2014, and Nishiwaki reportedly bought his stash a year later, then he basically broke the law. But even without the legal stipulations, what he did would be morally offensive any time.

Still, it's clear at this point his legacy and reputation are pretty much finished, and he'll never regain the popularity he once had. Where the judicial system comes up short, the court of public opinion may succeed. Above all, we gotta hope this news will send a message to more celebrities why crime doesn't pay. And while we're on the subject, we also gotta hope the courts in California won't be so lenient on Gerard Jones, whose trial is supposed to take place this month.

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