Here is some good news in the fight against child pornographers. Those interested in learning more can click here for additional information on this vicious crime against children.

Japan TImes reports: Seven men and women have been arrested in Fukuoka for allegedly violating the law on child pornography, police said Tuesday.

A joint investigative team of Fukuoka and Tokyo police confiscated hundreds of computer hard drives and other equipment the seven allegedly used to sell illegal video clips on the Internet, the police said.

Ken Morimoto, 41, president of a Fukuoka-based company that operates a Web site featuring child pornography, and his six employees were taken into custody for allegedly possessing child-porn videos for business purposes, the police said.

Police crackdowns on Internet child pornography usually reach dead ends when they learn the Web servers are based abroad. In such cases, arrests require coordination with police overseas.

Morimoto’s Web servers are based in Hong Kong, and customers are directed to servers in the U.S. before they download video files from the Hong Kong servers, the police said.

But the police said they discovered the same files in Morimoto’s computers in Fukuoka as those in his servers overseas, leading to the arrests.

Since Morimoto started his Web site in September 2007, its membership has expanded to more than 6,000 and his company has raked in an estimated ¥200 million, the police said.

USEMB Tokyo: “Child pornography in Japan affects the rest of the world, too. The growth in Internet use has led to an explosion in the number of persons obtaining, trading, and distributing child pornography, unconstrained by international borders. In Japan, the absence of a law criminalizing simple possession often prevents police from proactively investigating child pornography crimes. Japanese Internet service providers acknowledge that law enforcement authorities have been unable to keep up with the massive growth in Japanese e-groups, newsgroups, and bulletin boards dedicated to the exchange and proliferation of child pornography. According to the National Police Agency, it is almost impossible for local investigators to obtain search warrants to confiscate or search suspects’ computers, because simple possession of child pornography is not illegal. Child pornography prosecutions today almost always involve images contained on computer hard drives or start with an Internet protocol (IP) address that is known to have accessed child pornography material. The fact that Japanese courts cannot grant search warrants based on IP address information prevents Japan’s police from effectively combating the trade in child pornography.

The lack of a law criminalizing simple possession also prevents Japan from participating in many international child pornography investigations. The National Police Agency in Japan enjoys an excellent reputation in the international law enforcement community and cooperates extensively in international investigations of various kinds. Unfortunately, because Japan does not criminalize possession, the NPA cannot participate in the most frequently conducted international child pornography investigations, which target massive customer lists from commercial websites and other Internet communities that traffick in child pornography. In these cases the only available evidence upon which law enforcement can obtain legal process to act is the fact that the targets possessed child pornography on personal computers. In these international investigations, the evidence that is shared from one country to another leads to search warrants and the seizure of personal computers when there is cause to believe that child pornography is possessed. These seizures typically result in the initial arrest of the target based on possession charges, but in many of these cases investigators find the very worst offenders, people who not only possess the material, but produce it by violating children.”