Translator loses cartoon child porn appeal

A Swedish appeals court imposed a fine of 5,600 kronor ($864) on translator of Japanese manga on Friday because drawings stocked on his hard drives were considered child pornography.

The Svea court of appeal said 39 drawings stocked on Simon Lundström’s

computer violated Swedish child pornography laws.

The material was not made public, but the 27-year-old top manga expert’s sentencing by a lower court in June had raised the question whether it could

be considered child pornography.

Lundström said the drawings, seized during a police search at his home, circulated freely in Japan and did not, unlike pornography, portray real children.

Friday’s court of appeal ruling reduced the fine of 25,000 kronor handed down by the district court in June.

Manga are graphic novels that deal with themes from high school romance to literary classics — but also with pornography, much of it hardcore and violent.

In December, the city of Tokyo restricted the sale of manga comics and animated films with extreme depictions of rape, incest and other sex crimes, despite industry charges of censorship.

An amended ordinance passed by the metropolitan assembly of the Japanese

capital said that under-18-year-olds must not be able to buy or rent materials that depict such sexual acts in “unjustifiably glorified or exaggerated ways”.

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