Japan makes 'online insults' punishable by one year in prison in wake of reality TV star's death

Japan's parliament on Monday passed legislation making "online insults" punishable by imprisonment amid rising public concern over cyberbullying sparked by the suicide of a reality television star who had faced social media abuse.

Under the amendment to the country's penal code -- set to take effect later this summer -- offenders convicted of online insults can be jailed for up to one year, or fined 300,000 yen (about $2,200).

It's a significant increase from the existing punishments of detention for fewer than 30 days and a fine of up to 10,000 yen ($75).