TOKYO: Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is drawing up new regulations to crack down on computer spammers. It plans to up the present maximum penalty from ¥1 million to ¥30m ($277k; €188k; £141k)

Currently, senders of emails offering fake watches, get-rich-quick schemes and quack medicines must include wording to the effect that the message is an unsolicited ad. But even these emails would be banned under stricter rules.

If the new rules are approved, the ministry will be allowed to ask telcos and ISPs to provide data on customers suspected of sending out spam.

The maximum one year prison sentence will remain the same, but it is hoped the thirty-fold increase in the top fine will deter spammers.

However, the ministry acknowledges that around 90% of the offending junk originates outside of Japan and greater cooperation with  foreign governments is necessary to tackle the problem.

Data sourced from Asahi Shimbun Online; additional content by WARC staff