Photo/Illutration The Supreme Court building in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Supreme Court’s first petty bench dismissed an appeal on Dec. 5 from a 52-year-old man found guilty of breaking a Tokyo obscenity bylaw for aiming his camera at a woman’s lower body in public.

The top court’s decision cemented the ruling by the appellate court, which handed him an eight-month prison sentence.

The man took pictures of a woman from behind at an anime shop in Tokyo in May 2020, according to the ruling.

He held a small camera and aimed it up close at her lower body, positioning it at the same level as the hem of the skirt she was wearing.

Tokyo has an ordinance that bans voyeurism with cameras, which prohibits photographing or filming a person’s underwear or a body part otherwise covered by their clothing.

It also bans any obscene act that significantly shames a person or disturbs them.

Prosecutors argued that the man’s action met the definition of an obscene act.

At the first trial, the Tokyo District Court’s Tachikawa Branch found the man innocent because his video footage “does not put an emphasis on the woman’s buttocks and thighs.”

But at the second trial, the Tokyo High Court found the man guilty. It said it should be taken into consideration whether the man’s action had disturbed the victim based on his “intent” and the “positional relationship of the camera” to her body.

In upholding the decision, the Supreme Court recognized that the man’s act of focusing the camera on her body had significantly “shamed” and “disturbed” her and constituted an “indecent and lewd action that runs counter to sexual morals.”