Transnational Child Exploitation

In the Japanese ジュニアアイドル – Junior Idol industry, Junior Idols are typically females, under the age of 15 years, who are recorded for magazines, photo books and videos. These underage girls are photographed in underwear, swimsuits, or seifuku (“schoolgirl uniform”) for gravure modeling, which is a form of “soft-core” pornography. Despite local criticism and the closure of some studios, Junior Idol content continues to be legally produced and sold online.

This material straddles legality under Japanese law, due to a very specific definition of child pornography. However, in the Western world it is illegal content, as it is sexual material that is produced using children. This distinction creates a challenge for platforms seeking to moderate and protect their users in multiple territories simultaneously.

ActiveFence research has uncovered that child predators, aware of this loophole, are purchasing and sharing this illegal content, outside of Japan. Here, we present our recent findings into this phenomenon of this transnational child abuse, providing examples of CSAM from three Junior Idol studios being sold through major reputable e-commerce platforms.