Hundreds of “child porn” books removed from major bookstore chain after SA-BEST-Centre Alliance special investigation

20 July 2020

One of the world’s largest and most popular bookstore chains has removed “hundreds” of sickening and illegal child pornography books from the shelves of its Australian store following a special investigation by SA-BEST and Centre Alliance. 

Kinokuniya – a Japanese-based bookstore chain with more than 100 stores around the world and employing about 5000 people - has agreed to stop selling a range of explicit animated “comic books” showing sexually-explicit images of young girls and connotations of incest and rape involving minors from its book store in Sydney’s CBD. 

This follows SA-BEST MLC Connie Bonaros – who recently introduced laws to ban childlike sex dolls in South Australia – writing to the company’s Chairman and CEO, Mr Masashi Takai, bringing his attention to the store’s illegal activity and requesting he remove the offending material from his stores. 

Kinokuniya’s Vice President, Keijiro Mori, wrote back to Connie advising her that a number of book series had been removed from sale, which he said “equates to several hundred individual titles.” 

“We are communicating with the Australian Classification Board about this issue to better understand what content requires submission for clarification,” Mr Mori wrote. 

“And we are continuing to monitor titles we carry as well as new orders for sensitive material,” he wrote. 

“We have shared the concern about the issue with the staff in the Sydney store who have responded proactively and are now tackling this issue as a team. 

“In terms of our action globally, where our stores are situated we respect local law and culture, and make ordering decisions respectively and accordingly.” 

Connie said: “I congratulate Kinokuniya on taking such strong and decisive action. 

“Once I raised the issue with the company’s Chairman and CEO, it has moved expeditiously to remove the offending books from sale – books that child abuse experts warn paedophiles use as tools to groom children,” she said. 

“Children have a right to be protected from all forms of child exploitation.

“If this action by Kinokuniya helps stop one child from being sexually abused, it is one child we have saved.”

The SA-BEST-Centre Alliance investigation was sparked by the revelation child pornography material – including books and blue-ray discs – was being sold widely over the counter in popular Australian retail outlets, and online. 

This included some high-profile retailers in South Australia. 

The investigation found that some of the child exploitation material has been reviewed and classified legal by the Classification Board - despite falling within the meaning of child abuse material under the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 which makes it illegal to both sell and buy some pornographic items – while other graphic material has not been reviewed and/or classified due to disturbing loopholes in current laws. 

The investigation revealed the explicit child exploitation material is found in a Japanese form of animation called anime – both on Blue Ray discs and in Japanese “comic books” called manga. 

The two forms of media share a unique visual style that is globally popular - especially among teens. 

However, there is a sinister and sickening side to anime and manga with a significant proportion of the two media featuring child abuse material containing images of wide-eyed depictions of children - usually in school uniform – who are engaged in explicit sexual activities and poses, often being sexually abused. 

This is referred to as “hentai” anime and manga which paedophiles are known to use as a tool to groom children. 

At the time, SA-BEST-Centre Alliance demanded urgent action by the Federal Government to ensure laws banning such child exploitation material are properly enforced.

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