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Net providers begin blocking access to child porn sites

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Major Japanese Internet service providers on Thursday began blocking access to more than 100 websites that offer child pornography.

The Internet Content Safety Association, which was established by 21 major Internet service providers in March, said users will be denied access to such websites, possibly including sites containing a single still or moving child pornography picture.

Police and the Internet Hotline Center Japan, both of which monitor illegal information on the Internet, will deliver their data on child porn websites to the Internet Content Safety Association, association officials said.

The association will listen to lawyers and experts and determine whether those images are child pornography. Member providers will in turn block access to those websites, they said.

In Japan, nine leading Internet service providers account for about 70 percent of all the country's Internet service market. Among them are NTT Communications Corp., NEC Biglobe Ltd., Nifty Corp. and Yahoo Japan Corp.

The Internet Content Safety Association said it will ask minor Internet service providers, located outside major urban areas such as Tokyo and Osaka, to join the anti-child pornography project.

Japan has long been under international criticism for being a major supplier of online child pornography.

In July 2010, the government took a package of policies that calls for promoting a national campaign against child pornography, enhancing requests by the Internet Hotline Center Japan for providers to delete harmful content and tightening police crackdowns on online child pornography.

(The Mainichi Daily News -Japan)