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Politics

After Hana Kimura's death, Japan moves to unmask cyberbullies

Netflix star's apparent suicide pushes ruling party to discuss new rules

Hana Kimura enters the ring during a Women's Pro-Wrestling Stardom event on March 8 in Tokyo. The Netflix star was reported dead on May 23.   © Getty Images

TOKYO -- Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday began discussions on new rules to stop online abuse after the death of Netflix star Hana Kimura, who had reportedly suffered from social media bullying.

In its first meeting, the LDP's online abuse task force discussed proposals for a law that would lay out a process for internet providers to disclose information that can identify users behind anonymous social media posts. The lawmakers noted that the current process lacks effectiveness.

"Humiliation suffered online leaves a permanent mark that weighs heavily on victims," said the LDP's Junko Mihara, an actor-turned-lawmaker who heads the task force. Mihara said she favors stronger penalties for online abuse.

The meeting comes after the 22-year-old Kimura, a female professional wrestler who starred on the popular Netflix reality show "Terrace House," was reported dead Saturday.

An apparent suicide note was found at her Tokyo home, according to media reports.

The task force will also weigh creating a hotline that victims of online abuse can turn to for help.

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