Sat, Aug 23, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Japanese man gets six months for importing sex guide

CONTROVERSIAL The court determined that the book, which was supposed to show the nightlife of Taipei and Kaohsiung, was obscene


The Taipei District Court has sentenced a Japanese man in absentia to six months in jail for importing a controversial guidebook on the sex business in the nation's two biggest cities, it was reported yesterday.

Daisuke Sekine, the former chief of Japan's Kinokuniya bookstore in Taipei, was convicted on Thursday of offending public decency, local media said.

But the six-month prison term can be converted into a fine of NT$900 per day for the six-month period.

The court determined that the book, meant for Japanese tourists, was obscene as it contained nude and semi-nude photos of "viciously exposed" or "deliberately caressed" private parts of women, the China Times said.

When questioned by prosecutors last year, Sekine claimed the Japanese-language book, Ecstacy in Taiwan, simply depicted the nightlife in Taipei and Kaohsiung and that he was not aware selling such publications was illegal.

Sekine is believed to have been transferred by his employers to Sydney.

Hisanao Obara, the bookstore's general manager in Taipei who appeared at court for the ruling, said he respected the verdict due to cultural differences between Taiwan and Japan, the paper said.

Obara said he would consult lawyers to decide whether the bookstore would appeal against the ruling.

Copies of the book had been recalled by its Japanese publisher after a strong protest from Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) last year.

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