Day Care Worker in Japan Arrested for Fourth Time on Child Porn Charges

Day Care Worker in Japan Arrested for Fourth Time on Child Porn Charges

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Day care - empty seats
Picture: 鮎 / PIXTA(ピクスタ)
The multiple arrests of a daycare worker on child sexual exploitation charges highlight Japan's challenges in protecting kids.

Child pornography is making headlines in Japan. Stories of abuse in childcare, new legal barriers between sex offenders and children, and ever-evolving AI technologies that need better safeguards.

Content warning: This story discusses issues of child sexual exploitation.

Serial rapist unveiled

Nagumi Osada, 27, a former male nursery school teacher in Tokyo was rearrested on March 18th for allegedly raping a kindergartener and violating the Child Pornography Law. This marks his fourth arrest.

Authorities rearrested Osada after identifying a 4th victim from the 500+ graphic photos Osada took and kept on his computer and smartphone.

The latest arrest cites an incident last July. It unfolded during the school’s nap time at noon when Osada “invited” a girl kindergartener into a closet.

Police have taken Osada into custody every month this year. On January 17th, February 8th, and March 4th, authorities served Osada arrest warrants. Each was for a separate victim.

Osada, whose reputation is now that of a serial rapist, operated on school premises that his father––the principal––owns.

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Osada, who claims to be a victim of childhood sexual abuse, has admitted to the charges. He told investigators “There is no mistake that I did it,” Sankei Shimbun reports.

Another girl kindergartener unrelated to the July incident told her mother about Osada abusing her late last year. This prompted the school to hold a parents’ meeting on December 28th. Here, staff became aware of the greater possibility that more girls had been abused.

The school filed a police report on the 31st. Police responded a week later, searching Osada’s residence and confiscating his smartphone.

Osada was fired on January 25th and his father has not appeared at the school since as its principal. Parents of kindergarteners tell Shueisha that a female principal is currently substituting.

Osada, a husband and father of two toddlers, is now cooperating with the police. Authorities are proceeding under the assumption that there are more victims than the current four.  

Sex registry system to become accessible

Man being pointed at before being fired
Picture: チキタカ(tiquitaca) / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

The following day of Osada’s fourth arrest, Japan’s Cabinet approved a bill to allow operators of schools, daycare nurseries, and other child-related institutions to work in cooperation with the Family Agency to confirm sex offenders’ records.

The system would be Japan’s equivalent of the Disclosure and Barring Service in the U.K. It’ll allow employers to request the Family Agency to access the Justice Ministry’s records of sexual offenders to conduct background checks of applicants. The goal is to prevent atrocities like Osada’s abuse. Teachers and staff already employed will also undergo obligatory checks.

Records dating back as far as 20 years are accessible for sex crimes that resulted in prison sentences. For convicts whose sentences were fines or punishments of lesser degrees, the period is 10 years.

When the Family Agency finds a criminal record, it will notify the applicant or employee under inspection. If they voluntarily withdraw their application or resign, the agency will not disclose their criminal history to employers. Otherwise, employers will receive the records with an obligation not to leak them.

Whether Japan will sign the bill into law depends on the upcoming Diet meeting on June 23rd.

AI fails to filter out illegal pornography

Japan is also working to combat illegal child pornography on the digital front.

Photographs banned from public access by the National Diet Library for containing elements of child pornography got mixed into a dataset for training the image-generating AI Stable Diffusion (SD), The Yomiuri Shimbun reports on March 21st.

The Yomiuri Shimbun took a look into SD’s public online dataset and discovered naked images of an underage girl from 1993.

At the time of taking these photos, Japan had no law regulating child pornography. It wasn’t until 1999 that the Act on Regulation and Punishment of Acts Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Protection of Children went into effect.

In 2006, the National Diet Library banned images that violated the law.

Just last December, a research team at Stanford found 3,226 images that are allegedly child pornography in SD’s dataset. The system reportedly failed to filter out these illegal images when collecting data from the Internet.

What to read next

Sources

保育園で女児に性的暴行加え撮影か 元保育士の男を再逮捕…被害女児は4人に 警視庁. TBS NEWS DIG

園児にわいせつ容疑の保育士、4回目逮捕 画像消去も復元 警視庁. 産経新聞

園児に性的暴行しスマホで撮影か 元保育士の男を再逮捕 別の園児3人にも…逮捕は4回目. 日テレNEWS

東京墨田区保育所で園児にわいせつか元保育士4回目逮捕. NHK

〈強制性交などで4度目の逮捕〉「自分も幼少期に性的虐待を受けていた」と供述した“ボンボン保育士”、園長だった父は卒園式にも現れず、保護者は「いまだ何の説明もない」と撫然. 集英社オンライン

「園のクローゼットで女児に不同意性交、3歳児にも…」逮捕された“ボンボン保育士”(26)は近所では愛妻家のイクメンとして評判。庭でプール遊びにBBQ…SNSには「オレって幸せものだな」と投稿も〈墨田区・保育士わいせつ〉. 集英社オンライン

児童対象性暴力防止法案を閣議決定 性犯罪歴照会は現職員も. 毎日新聞

生成AI、児童ポルノ画像を学習か…専門家「被害者の人権侵害恐れ」. 読売新聞

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