Posting “online insults” will be punishable by up to a year in prison time in Japan starting Thursday, when a new law passed earlier this summer will go into effect.
People convicted of online insults can also be fined up to 300,000 yen (just over $2,200). Previously, the punishment was fewer than 30 days in prison and up to 10,000 yen ($75).
The law will be reexamined in three years to determine if it’s impacting freedom of expression — a concern raised by critics of the bill. Proponents said it was necessary to slow cyberbullying in the country.