Japan Policies Affecting Disinformation
Existing legislation, which may affect actors who disseminate disinformation, covers disinformation that is spread in specific contexts, such as during the lead up or aftermath of an election or affecting a business.
The Broadcasting Act of 1950, amended in 2014, ensures that broadcasters must edit out any"distortions of fact(s)".
Under the Penal Code obstruction of business through the dissemination of fake news is punishable by 1 to 3 years imprisonment and a fine. Defamation with either true or false statements is punishable by no more than 3 years in prison in addition to a fine.
The Public Offices Election Act makes it so that anyone conducting an election campaign must post their contact information. A person who publicizes false information with the intent of making a candidate win may be imprisoned for not more than 2 years as well as a fine.
Actions and Initiatives
Japan has taken a measured approach to fighting disinformation. In 2018, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications launched a study group which featured disinformation as a theme. Their final report concluded that civil society and private actors should be the main actors confronting disinformation. The report also requested that platforms remove fake accounts and disinformation.