JAPANESE police want to question YouTube star Logan Paul over the "insensitive" video of a man hanging in Japan's so-called "suicide forest".
Paul, 22, who has over 15 million followers, issued a second apology after he was unanimously criticised for laughing with friends about the body they filmed hanging from a tree.
Masaki Ito, spokesman for the Yamanashi prefectural police, said people are not obligated to report a body but want to speak to him as a suicide may be involved.
Paul's team is shown in his original video calling police and emergency officials appearing at the scene. Local police overseeing the forest area in Paul's video have declined comment as Japanese authorities tend not to comment on suicides.
Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, with more than 21,000 people killing themselves every year.
Suicide does not have the same religious stigma in Japan as in other cultures – and has even been portrayed as an honourable way to take responsibility.
In his second apology, a video titled "So sorry", Paul said: "I've made a severe and continuous lapse in my judgment and I don't expect to be forgiven. I'm simply here to apologise.
"I've made a huge mistake. I don't expect to be forgiven… I'm ashamed of myself. I am disappointed.
He added that: the shots of he and his friends laughing nervously after the discovery of the body were "raw and unfiltered" reactions and that the video should never have been posted or even filmed.
In the video Paul was heard yelling, "Yo, are you alive?" at the dead man during a 15-minute clip, filmed at the base of Japan's Mount Fuji.
The camera then zoomed into the man's body, while Paul asks his tour guide: "Did we just find a dead person in the suicide forest hanging?"
In the wake of the scandal, parents are being urged to discuss online content with their children in the same way they would discuss a news story.
"Vloggers will come and go as the digital world continues to grow but the best way of tuning into which ones children are following is to keep an open dialogue with them about their online life," said Carolyn Bunting of online safety group Internet Matters.
Dear Internet, pic.twitter.com/42OCDBhiWg
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) January 2, 2018
She added: "Logan Paul’s videos often reach millions of youngsters within days of being posted, but some of his material will be blocked by YouTube’s ‘restricted mode’ – this is just one practical tool parents can use to filter out inappropriate videos.
"Children are born into a digital world, for parents to keep up they need to be involved in their kids’ online lives in the same way they are their normal lives – that way kids can enjoy the benefits of the internet safely."
Paul later deleted the video and issued a full apology on Twitter but faced a second backlash after appearing to suggest he was trying to raise awareness of male suicide.
Paul said: "I've never faced criticism like this before. I'm surrounded by good people and believe I make good decisions, but I'm still a human being.
"I didn't do it for the views… I did it because I thought I could make a positive ripple on the internet, not cause a monsoon of negativity.
"I intended to raise awareness for suicide and suicide prevention and while I thought 'if this video saves one life, it'll be worth it,' I was misguided by shock and awe."
"I'm often reminded of how big of a reach I truly have and with great power comes great responsibility… for the first time in my life I'm regretful to say I handled that power incorrectly. It won't happen again."
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123 or 020 7734 2800
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