According to a report by Nippon.com, a spokesman for the Tokyo Prosecutors’ Office announced today that a man has been charged for the online abuse and bullying directed at late professional wrestler, Hana Kimura. She tragically died due to reported suicide in May 2020 at the age of 22. Per the spokesman, a man in his 20s received a “summary indictment” for making public insults directed at Kimura.
Police referred to the man in question, who was not named, in December as follows: “The suspect… posted messages on a social media account of the victim, including ‘You have such an awful personality. Is your life worth living?’ and ‘Hey, hey. When will you die?’”
Under the indictment, the man is reportedly not obliged to face trial. Local media reports that a Tokyo court issued a fine in the amount of 9,000 yen (roughly $80 USD). The report noted that there has been concern on social media that the man charged for cyberbullying Hana Kimura received a much too light punishment.
Kimura received a great deal of online abuse following the airing of the Netflix reality show, Terrace House. The show was later cancelled after her passing. The victim’s mother later filed a complaint with the Broadcast Thetics & Program Improvement Organization in Japan last year, claiming the producers pressured Kimura to act in an aggressive manner on the reality show, which is what led to the online bullying and insults.
The Internet has become an indispensable tool in our daily lives, but with its rapid development, social networking services (SNS) have become a serious social problem where people who cannot see each other’s faces talk badly about each other, harming the honor and feelings of others, and violating the privacy of others by revealing their personal information and private lives.
With this in mind, we have been conducting educational activities such as information dissemination and lectures focusing on SNS education.
With this in mind, we have been disseminating information, holding lectures and other educational activities focusing on SNS education. In the future, we will further expand the above activities and create useful educational materials for SNS education, as well as educate students and pupils at elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, universities and other educational institutions nationwide on how to avoid becoming a victim or a perpetrator of SNS.
In addition, in order to help victims of social networking services, which are becoming increasingly serious, we will actively appeal to the government to help victims of slander and libel on the Internet. We need support from the government and corporations, as well as participation and support from the general public to carry out these activities. In order to gain further support, we have decided to establish a non-profit organization with a higher level of public interest and credibility. We would like to ask for your understanding and cooperation in this endeavor.
If you have thoughts of self-harm, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.