Japanese police arrested six men on charges of child pornography and alleged involvement in abusing at least 168 boys, Japanese media reported on Friday. The arrest comes as Japan makes an effort to revive its image ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The media reports cited a police statement and said the victims were all aged 4 to 13. More than 100,000 files of child pornography were found on the computers of the arrested men, who were 20 to 66.
Some of the suspects worked as volunteers at camps for elementary and middle school children, while some were working as elementary school teachers. Reports said they avoided using the internet to exchange the images in an attempt to avoid cyber policing by authorities. The suspects used to exchange pornographic images directly.
When asked about the reports, the police said they could not immediately comment on those reports, but investigations are going on. According to police data, the number of victims of child pornography in the country rose to a record 781 in the first half of 2016, compared with 384 in the same period the previous year.
In 2014, Japan was criticized and marked as a country that failed to be sufficiently strict in protecting minors from sexual exploitation. Responding to the criticism, the government joined other major developed nations and revised the law to ban possession of child pornography.