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Hacking Arrests Doubled in Japan in 2007

Arrests associated with unauthorized access to computers more than doubled in Japan in 2007 compared to the previous year, according to figures released by Japan's Ministry of Justice.

During 2007 a total of 1,442 arrests were made, up 703 arrests a year earlier, reported the ministry in its annual White Paper on Crime. The figure is 10 times the number of arrests made in 2003 for violations of the same law.

The country also saw a rise, although a much more modest one, in the number of crimes involving computers. There were a total of 3,918 arrests for such crimes, up 9 percent on the year.

Within this category arrests relating to violations of the copyright law jumped 11 percent to 165, while arrests for distribution of obscene literature climbed 6 percent to 203. There was a drop in child pornography-related arrests from 251 to 192, but arrest for child prostitutes soliciting or solicited online rose from 463 to 551.

The figures come against a backdrop of increasing broadband and cell phone penetration in Japan but generally lower crime.

At the end of 2007 there were 28.3 million broadband connections and 100.5 million cell phone subscriptions. Those figures are up respectively 10 percent and 6 percent on the beginning of the year.

Overall reported cases dropped 7 percent compared to last year. It was the fifth year in a row that the number of cases dropped. They stood at 2.7 million in 2007 against the record high of 3.7 million hit in 2002.

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