Tokyo Government To Regulate “Harmful Content” In Anime, Manga And Games

By Ishaan . December 18, 2010 . 10:00am

In 2009, a legislative amendment that would prohibit the depiction of any virtual youth appearing to be under the age of 18 engaging in sexual activity was proposed in Tokyo. As a result of the language used being vague and open to interpretation, the bill was pushed back for revision by the Democratic Party of Japan.


Following revision, the bill has been officially passed by the Tokyo government, hoping to prevent the sale of material containing underage sexual activity along with themes of rape and incest in Japanese media to those under the age of 18. This covers games, anime and manga.


The Tokyo government is encouraging these industries to regulate themselves, and prevent the sale of such material to minors, and this self-regulation will be mandated from April 1st, 2011.


The bill in question, Bill 156, classifies this harmful content as “Any manga, animation, or pictures (but not including real life pictures or footage) that features either sexual or pseudo-sexual acts that would be illegal in real life, or sexual or pseudo-sexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be illegal, where such depictions and / or presentations unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate the activity.”


The bill also empowers the Tokyo government to restrict manga, anime and other media — excluding live photography, ironically — that unjustifiably glorify sexual acts. Reuters report that in the interest of free speech and expression, a work’s artistic and social merits will be taken into account during the regulation process.


So, now for the big question: How exactly will this regulation of adult material take place? That’s where things get rather dicey.


By Bill 156, if a publisher releases content that the Tokyo government deems to be harmful to minors more than 6 times within a single year, the publisher will be reported to the self-regulatory body responsible for it. If the publisher offends again within half a year, the Tokyo Governor will have a right to humiliate them publicly.


To put things into perspective, Japan already has an “adult comics” rating for manga to prevent sales of adult material to minors. All material currently labelled as being “adult only” is accommodated in a separate section of Japanese retail stores, away from the “regular” material. Bill 156 seeks to restrict such subject matter.


Retail stores found violating the bill will potentially face fines of up to 300,000 yen ($3,573) once it passes on July 1st 2011. Keep in mind, however, that this bill’s effect on publishing and distribution of “harmful” works will only be felt in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.


But what about digital content, which is quickly catching on? Bill 156 covers this, too. Mobile phones are the most widespread means of accessing digital content as well as browsing the Internet in Japan. The Tokyo government now has the authority to prevent access of certain material to mobile phone users under the age of 18, based on their registered age, through an Internet filter that is activated by default.


If the minor’s parents wish to deactivate this filter, they will be required to submit a written request to the concerned cell phone provider.


Manga publishers in Japan have voiced their intention to challenge the bill until it passes, and have already begun to demonstrate their objection. A group of ten major publishers, for instance, are refusing to participate in March 2011’s Tokyo Anime Fair in opposition of the bill.


Longtime Japanese media translator, Dan Kanemitsu’s blog has a translation of an interview with Tokyo Governor, Shintaro Ishihara, conducted by Weekly Asahi magazine, where Ishihara comments on his outlook on the bill and why it is being passed.

Read more stories about & & & & on Siliconera.

  • Ladius

    It should also be noted that governor Ishihara, the man behind this bill, is a notorious right-wing extremist that has publicly offended koreans and chinese people, not to mention his insults on homosexual people (he thinks their DNA is damaged) and anime and manga fan (they, too, have DNA problems and are thus labeled as abnormal). He also openly preaches revisionist opinions regarding Japan’s WW2 war crimes in Asia.

    To add insult to injury, governor Ishihara is a novelist renowned for extremely debatable novels, ranging from rape&kill scenarios involving an handicapped girl, sexual humiliations, gang rape and so on. Some of his works have been adapted as films, and one of them has allegedly instigated copycats crimes for some time. Of course his works won’t be affected by this bill since, as everyone know (except for those with damaged DNA, that is) animation and comics have terrible effects on children while movies and books can only do good.

    • ChaosPaladinFayt

      sankaku? nice lol

      • Consider it a sad day in journalism when tabloids tell the truth, while the #corpoREICH media still pulls off #censorscheisse.

      • Ladius

        Sankaku is akin to a scandalistic magazine, in this case however the facts it reported are true and were available from many other sources before they were made public in the western otaku niche.
        There’s no reason to have this “Sankaku? lol” attitude beforehand simply because they were the first otaku outlet to speak about Ishihara’s controversies, even if in other cases Sankaku has been extremely superficial or simply wrong.

        • ChaosPaladinFayt

          oh well, sankaku is still a good place to get general information on event occurring in without actually having to translate pages. Im just saying that sankaku is probably where most of the people heard it from first, and they basically listed everything u said in ur original post.

    • PrinceHeir

      yay you got this from sankaku :)

      i agree his pretty much delusional, sucks this law is gonna pass buy.

      not to mention anybody who opposes this ban or i-shit-hara is consider their DNA damaged which is just plain stupid.

      i think the age rating and separation from the other books is enough but banning them from tokyo? oh well there are other places they can sell or expect some underground black market.

      • Ladius

        Sankaku publicized what was already widely know, you can find mentions of Ishihara’s speeches and ideology in the english language japanese press and in many other sites (albeit more underground than Sankaku, who did well in publicizing those facts).

        The “there are other places” thing unfortunately isn’t right, Tokyo isn’t your average japanese city, it is the principal market for this kind of product and if this bill is going to be applied strictly it would mean a huge problem for the whole industry.

        • PrinceHeir

          i know tokyo is probably japan’s central place, but what can you do? the bill is already been passed and it’s taking effect July 2011 i think.

          i think this guy won’t make on the next election, hopefully this ban will be lifted by the time he leaves his position. his remarks and excuses reeks of his stupidity.

          • Ladius

            Problem is, Tokyo is not only the major market of otaku products in the world, it is also the base for almost all major japanese publishers and developers, from mangalight novel publishing houses to animation houses to videogame developerspublishers (of course there are exception, mainly regarding Osaka).

            Not only that: the most important fairs of the japanese entertainment industry are held in Tokyo. The Tokyo Anime Fair, Comiket and Tokyo Game Show are extremely important realities both for internal market and international image, and this ban with the consequential boycott decided by many publishers could have extremely dire consequences.

            One could say “well, they can always move their business and hold their fair to another city”, but I’m sure you understand how things aren’t so simple at all (just think about the infrastructures needed for an international-level fair), even without considering the possible loss of sales in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

          • PrinceHeir

            i think the problem is that they concentrated too much on tokyo. tokyo is definitely the biggest market from japan but if they expanded it more on all over japan they wouldn’t have problem moving in to other cities. but as you said it’s not easy to move on other cities that hasn’t have much exposure as like tokyo.

            i fear about comiket since all of the major doujin’s and other works from various people came there not to mention i know lot’s of scanalators visit japan just so they can buy their H-manga’s and doujins.

            damn you DPJ and i-shit-hara.

          • Ladius

            (to the post below)

            The problem is linked to japanese geography and demography. Tokyo isn’t simply the Empire’s capital or a big city, it’s a textbook example of megalopolis composed by many sub-cities that have been absorbed by Tokyo’s growth during the last fifty years, to the point of having a metropolitan area of more than twenty “cities” and more than 30 million inhabitants.

            Considering that this is not only Japan’s most densely populated area, but also the national center of the tertiary sector and the richest area regarding income and expenses you can figure by yourself how devastating this bill could be if applied strictly.

          • 18+ H-manga is not what this law is targeting though. What’s being targeted is the ecchi genre, and any romance manga that features legally forbidden love. This is off the top of my head, but an old manga that wouldn’t have been allowed to been published after July 2011 would be Marmalade Boy, since step-siblings can’t get married.

            As far as non H-doujin though, aren’t those indie manga? When the U.S. tried to start regulating comics in the 1950s or 1960s(not sure when), comic writers went underground and usually directly distributed their works to small retailers that the government didn’t want to bother with to avoid have the seal they needed to sell normally. Since doujin don’t run under a publisher they should be safe if they do the same thing unless the Tokyo Government decides to actually check local retailers.

    • malek86

      How did this bill come to pass, anyway?

      Did something major happen in the last year or so?

  • malek86

    “If the publisher offends again within half a year, the Tokyo Governor will have a right to humiliate them publicly.”

    Uh… how will this happen, exactly?

    • “Lawlawlawl, you put porn in your games!”

      *Game suddenly becomes incredibly popular*

    • News conference, maybe… although that would take up too much time. Probably just an e-mail to media outlets all over Tokyo. In the end it’s going to be some method where parents can find out easily.

    • Spankings.

    • Guest

      They have to walk around in a Pedobear outfit

  • Yeah, ive been reading about this for a while, as if they dont have enough problems? And of all of them, they decide to attack the entertainment industry?, one that gives a good amound of money and fame(being it or bad) to japan.

    Well, supposedly, this wont be active until June… But developers areee mad

    • Ladius

      Sadly developers and publishers risk having substantial economic damages (not to mention facing arbitrary and unclear censorship and “public humiliations”), only because of Tokyo governor Ishihara, an extremist, homophobe and racist who has started a personal crusade against the animemanga industry, to the point of labeling as unimportant the Anime Fair boycott many publishers have started, even if it could provoke the fair’s end and thus damage Tokyo’s economy.

      • Wait a minute. Isn’t Ishihara the Chairman for the Tokyo Anime Fair? And didn’t he put a lot effort into establishing it in the first place?

        Either he’s crazy or the scent of an unfair political power grab got even stronger.

        • Ladius

          AFAIK the governor of Tokyo by default has a place in those major events because of their economic relevance. That said, he isn’t boycotting the fair, he’s simply downplaying the importance of the publisher’s boycott since they are opposing the ban on which he is investing his political credibility.

          Of course you could say that with this ban he indirectly boycotted the fair, but still his comment was only an answer.

        • Code

          Sounds like he’s trying to cover his ass if I’ve ever heard it opo;

  • doomspeller10

    What’s interesting is that the law doesn’t apply to real photographs. Japan’s freaking doomed now.

    • Ladius

      Apparently that was in the original draft, but the left parties removed that paragraph before agreeing to vote Ishihara’s kill-an-industry bill like sheeps, showing a baffling concern to permit actual images of sexviolence while agreeing to censor drawn ones. Of course Ishihara had no problems agreeing to the removal, since his objective from the start was only the anime industry and otakus with their “corrupted DNAs”.

      PM Naoto Kan tried to defend the animemanga industry’s importance, but since his position is precarious at best no one gave a damn.

      • Aoshi00

        I feel for all the recent PMs of Japan not lasting a year just like the ex-PM Hatoyama.. I thought things would change for the better since the Democratic Party became the majority the first time in 50 yrs in Jpn, guess it’s still politics as usual.. like the warmongering Republicans in the US still in bed w/ the corporation and big oil not changing a damn thing (labeling Pres. Obama as a socialist/communist), getting their noses everywhere and neglecting their own country..

        I think it’s silly they censor game/manga/anime, a worldwide popular culture Japan should be proud of, while there’re much much sicker stuffs in their porn and such.. It would be like the US gov’t trying to censor Hollywood movies or music or something, also a staple of popular American culture.. But games/manga/anime (cartoon) are always a scapecoat because they’re considered a lower form of culture/entertainment, like you’re sub-human if that’s your hobby. Do they expect everyone to watch Doraemon or something?

        And I hate that right-wing revisionist thing in the Jpn Diet (play down or try to erase their aggressor role, claiming to be A-bomb victim, and worshipping their war criminals like Tojo in the Yasukuni Shrine).. sry if this sounds too political.. Thanks for the illuminating info on the wicked Tokyo Gov’nor, sounds like another Tojo Yuuko (the day Palin holds any office we would be doomed.. no more teaching Evolution for one thing)

        • You mean any national office. Although… I have no idea what she did in Alaska. Anyways, this really sounds like a Japanese version of the Tea Party movement(or at least what it seems like it’s become). Just like the Tea Party feeds on the people’s fears of Muslim terrorists and totalitarianism under the guise of communism, this seems like the LDP is feeding on the general public’s hatred, or at least their wariness, of “otakus”

          Hmmm…. This term ends in April… Did he get re-elected already for the next term or are their elections coming up?

          Oh and isn’t there something similar for U.S. comics introduced in the 1950s or 1960s that’s lost a lot of power, but is technically still in effect?

          • Fonic

            I really don’t think there’s a comparison there. This has nothing to do with fiscal issues and is instead all about censorship. It’s like one of the FCC’s bright ideas…
            It’s pretty hard to compare Japanese politics to American politics anyway. The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is an odd bird in many ways. They favor this bill, not to mention Keynesian policies. Weird bunch.

          • See the thing is that the Tea Party was formed for fiscal reasons, and the more informed sides with the group for those reasons. It’s how they deal with the less informed that riles me up. What the Tea Party leaders have basically told, or at least implied, to them is that a Muslim is in the White House, that all Muslims are terrorists, that the Democratic Party is a socialist/communist party, and that socialism/communism = totalitarianism.

            In the elections this year, I saw one road side reporter ask someone who they voted for and why. The person told the reporter that they voted for their candidate because the candidate was a Christian.

            The thing is with this bill, Ishihara’s been governor for almost 12 years already. So my question is this: Why not make this bill before 2009 when his party was the national majority?

          • Aoshi00

            I wouldn’t say the LDP is exactly like Tea Party, because they have ruled Jpn for half a century, while Tea Party is a fringe movement if you will, brainwashed by lunatics like radio host Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, all in it for the money. The Ministry of Education has been teaching revisionist curriculum for many years, so while the everyday Japanese people are indeed peaceful, the younger generation is not aware of their aggressor role in WW2, they think they did nothing wrong and the bombs dropped on them for no reasons.

            Palin brought in some money for Alaska because of all the oil deals (and she quit, for more money and fame), other than that she’s an airhead who uses religion to raise fear, it’s people like her we have religious wars. If Palin w/ her guns becomes president, I don’t think two wars are enough..

          • But this bill was introduced in a time when the LDP is finally the minority in Japan, just like how a few Republicans jumped on to the Tea Party train just to rally the uninformed to go out and vote for them. And I’m sure you know the results of what happened because of that.

            Oh man… You just reminded me about that Glenn Beck rally…

        • RupanIII

          Man, Yasukuni is a scary place. When I was in Japan I visited it to do research for a paper. I wanted to go on August 14th but my Japanese friend was just like no.. you don’t haha The museum they have is kind of surreal. I mean generally speaking when you’re in a museum you expect objectivity, just historical facts/objects. Instead you get title cards like ‘Japan liberated Asia from Chinese aggressors.’ The giftshop is nuts too. I bought a couple of souvenirs for my prof back in the States- a book claiming the Nanjing massacre never happened and a chibi anime style Imperial Navy soldier keychain, complete with rising sun flag and sakura in the background. The wartime Yamato-damashii was just oozing out of the place.

          It’s messed up too, cause the general population isn’t like this, just pacifistic and such, but the gov’t is full of right wing warhawks/revisionists and they’re rarely held accountable. Crazy tho he was, perhaps they need another like Kenzo Okuzaki after them haha

          Anyway, on topic, this is typical, attempt to reform the effects, not the causes (oppressive societal structures that drive people to seek extreme violence/pornography as a pressure valve)

          edit – okay dangerous to discuss politics haha but, not disagreeing with you on the warmongers and such, however I’d argue that the democrats are just as much in bed with the corporations and Wall St. as the republicans, two sides of the same coin. For ex., Obama campaigned that the banks needed regulation as they were melting down, and he was against the tax cuts for plutocrats (which they need so they can create jobs for us peasants… in India lol) Then after receiving boatloads of cash from the banks and corporations in campaign donations, suddenly all that disappears and he’s handing them billions of dollars with no strings attached and making zero attempts to regulate.

          • Aoshi00

            Yep, the Pan-Asianism excuse.. not only does Japan not apologize for their war crimes like Germany for the Nazis, but they glorify it. All politicians are crooks and hypocrites.. the US accusing China the boogeyman of suppressing dissidents, and now they’re doing the same thing to silence Julian Assange for releasing the dirty stuffs in the Iraq and Afghan War, block wikileaks, telling Mastercard and Paypal to block donation to him, real freedom.. all gov’t are trying to brainwash their citizens one way or another..

            Oh yea, not just the Republicans, the Dems too, but Obama’s hands are tied, nobody likes to give tax cuts to millionaires/billiionaires (and they talk about the deficit), but if Obama didn’t compromise, there would be tax hike for everyone next year and no more unemployment extension. Just like the Jpn ex-PM Hatoyama, he campaigned for change, promised to kick out the US military off of Okinawa, couldn’t do it and needed to step down.

            The Republicans are hellbent on making Obama a one-term president. Sometimes it’s give and take though, just get something done instead of saying no.. cutting education is just going to make the next generation hillbillies.. hope the economy would turn around by his re-election.

          • Fonic

            Uh, most opposition parties want the other side’s president to be one-term.
            Also U.S education has a lot of wasteful spending (like most things nowadays) so cuts aren’t always a bad thing.

          • Aoshi00

            Sure, of course the parties will always be at odd because of their philosophies, but it’s so bad to the point anything Obama wants done, the Republicans would say no, if Obama says the earth is round the Republicans would say it’s flat. Yes, US education and healthcare are not efficient, that’s why they need reforms, but they want to repeal it and leave everything stay status quo, and that’s not a sustainable situation. W/ the US’s daily military spending, how many schools, bridges, high speed railroads, etc could be built bettering the country, hence not falling behind. Just look at the NYC subway, it’s a hellhole and rotting away.. The horrible thing is they are willing to put aside improving the country for another 2 yrs until Obama is out, that’s scary to me. Yea, it’s always politics before the people, but I really don’t think now is the time for obstruction since we’re in this economic mess in all fronts. I’m not aware of any other US president being demonized as much as Obama, being likened to Stalin or Hilter.

          • Yeah, i remember reading someone trying to say that the Nanking pictures were…


            Yes, in the middle of the street in broad daylight. Considering some of the pictures I’ve seen from that, it’s just a baffling thought.

        • Ladius

          I couldn’t agree more. Ishihara and his allies are octuagenaries who dream of the old Dai-Teikoku’s days and consider all post-war cultural developments (including the entertainment industry) to be a cancer who plague Japan’s youth and an obstacle to only-God-knows plans to rally the citizens in support of militaristic right wing policies using the phantom menace of N.Korea and China and the economical and political crisis.

          I am the first to believe that Japan should take a more active role in the east-asian political context, but without falling prey to populistic measures. That area needs a responsible country to promote human rights and to defend its sovereignity as a civilized State (I’m referring to the Sankaku incident), not as another nationalistic bastion ruled by WW2 wannabes who consider the crimes of war of their fathers (of course even the complete demonization of every japanese soldier is unjust, but you know what I mean) heroic deeds.

          It’s somewhat hyronic how H.I.M. the Emperor of Japan has been a moderate, thoughtful force even in those last years (promoting equality of korean citizens by commemorating a distant political marriage of the imperial family with the daughter of a korean monarch, for example) while the elected politicians start to adhere to those old dogmas :

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      It’s all part of the plan to revitalize the declining birth rate.

      You see, the government is forcing the kiddies to fap to real porn again, so they’ll regain sexual attraction to “3D”. Then they’ll remember real women exist outside of porn and go out to have interact with them instead of wasting their load on PC screens and dakimakuras.

  • puchinri

    I remember seeing it mentioned all over and read up on it on ANN’s forums yesterday. I don’t feel too worried right now, especially since Tokyo already had a bill that allows them to restrict all that content before, but I am wary.

    I guess we’ll see how things play out and if this bill lasts.

    • It’s a major revision of the same law.
      Edit: That means if they scrap this, they’ll have to scrap the original version from 1964 too. This revision gives the Tokyo Metro government a lot more power to regulate this stuff.

  • RagnaXBL

    no more loli’s!!?!
    *starts world war 3*

  • BadenBadenPrinny

    Hear that, it’s the sound of creative freedom dying in japan

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    This is so unbelievably moronic, that I don’t even know what to comment on.

    First off, Ishihara comes off as a massive asshole in that interview. What an annoying guy. Then, if such offensive content was already restricted to adults, who can perfectly distinguish fiction from reality (thus not being influenced by whatever horrible stuff anime and manga depict), just what is the purpose of this bill? How come it doesn’t affect real footage/pics?

    By publicly exposing the offending publishers, everyone becomes aware. Retailers could decide they don’t care and continue selling stuff from those publishers, but they can’t because of the heavy fines.

    There’s just so much that can potentially be considered “harmful”, that the scope of the bill borders on ridiculous levels. Just like Kanemitsu pointed out, even National Geographic could be considered “harmful”, should it contain pictures of children in poses that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government deems inappropriate.

    This kind of media control shouldn’t be allowed. Not when such content was already limited to adults only.

    Or am I misunderstanding/missing something here?

    • vadde939

      You’re not misunderstanding anything. Ishihara is an arrogant asshole and this bill is stupid and has a ridiculously vague definition of what is ‘harmful’.

  • Code

    rarr, talk about disappointing, I hate how governments can get away with attaching child protection to restricting freedom of speech like this to make laws like this have legs, it’s such a sneaky and underhanded tactic.

    Laws like this that impose on freedom of speech, have no place in a mature society, and more over laws and regulations should never ever simply rely on “government” using there personal opinion to dictate it right from wrong, I always thought law had to use a strictly measurable quality, something that did not rely on any one person’s opinion. And seriously “humiliation” as a punishment, really mature Ishihara opo;; as hard as you try it’s not the 1700’s any more where these witch-hunt based laws should work. Japan, and it’s mangaka, artists, writers, hell everyone should be getting up in arms over this. This whole “law” is time, effort, and money wasted which could have been spend on doing something that would actually protect children from being abducted/raped/killed, which is the greatest crime of all.

    I know below there’s the whole wikileak topic which does kind of bleed into this, which is understandable. Just yesterday I kind of caught up with the recent happenings on it, and it’s organizations like this that are likely going to be key in the future to preventing knuckleheads like Ishihara gaining power. Also hopefully it’ll also start holding the US government, large corporation more accountable for there actions omo;

  • Jesus, guys. Why are you all so offended? I’ve been called names all my life and I’ve never let it bother me. Have you never been called out on your hobbies in your lives before?

    • It’s one thing to be called names. It’s another thing to be told “Shut up!” before you say anything.

    • Code

      Name Calling =/= Censorship and attack on Freedom of Speech

      Also Name Calling is always in poor taste for high level political officials.

      • And yet a lot of people seem to think that they were being personally addressed when Ishihara made his outrageous comments against perverts. Their freedom of speech isn’t in danger here.

        • Code

          Artistic freedom of speech, when it effects games, anime, manga and other stuff is very much relevant to a lot of people here. It’s not there personal freedom of speech which is being challenge, but the freedom of speech of the artists and writers, they are fans of which is being challenged, it’d be a natural response to be stirred up by such a notion.

          The problem here is exactly what I’ve said above, they’ve purposefully crafted this so that anyone who challenges/argues against this ideal is a pervert.

  • karasuKumo

    All they need to do is control how much extreme sexual manga is displayed publicly, banning something doesn’t solve the problem at all. Treat it the same as any pornography and don’t display it in windows and on signs and control the age of which it can be bought. His arrogance and general hypocritical attitude towards the issue is why he isn’t being taken seriously. Plus the fact he insults anime fans and homosexuals publicly. I believe he said at one point he “doesn’t care if nobody turns up at the Tokyo International Anime Fair”. I wonder about his views on Maid cafes also?

    It’s disgusting that someone like him has that kind of title. Where’s a Death Note when you need one?

    • I could see them giving him the most gruesome, overkill death possible. He seems to fit the archetype for a person liable to get Death Note’d.

  • Phoenix_Apollo

    I’m just wondering out lout here, but would this also cover the famous Albedo/MOMO scene in the original Xenosaga were it to be released? The bill is so vague, it seems like a fair question to ask. It’s not the traditional sense of sexual-content, so I don’t know if it’s that straightforward.

    The reason I ask is because I’d love to see the series remade someday and would hate for it to be affected by this law.

    • Anything made prior to July 2011 should not be affected by this. Even if the game was remade though, the scene would remain, since it’s not glorifying what’s going on in that scene, but the exact opposite.

      • Ladius

        Eventual reprints put on the market after july 2011 are affected, though.

        To answer Phoenix’s question, such a scene could be hit by this bill depending on the deciding body’s stance. if they are interested in censoring everything that is even remotely included in the law’s definitions things are gonna be dire, if they limit their actions to the most blatant cases it could be less problematic, even if it would still be censorship. The “glorifying” bit is extremely ambiguous and could be easily adapted to cover situations where the sexual-violence elements is clearly portrayed as negative.

        • Isn’t that what a judiciary branch is for though? To prevent the executive and legislative branches from abusing their powers? Even if they do allow this law, I’m pretty sure that they can’t just turn their heads away if the government abuses this law. Although… I am doubting myself here about that for some reason.

  • superdry

    Even though I don’t like this bill being passed, but could this be one of those things the government does to show like they are doing something, but, in reality, they aren’t going to be fully enforcing this law?

    I guess if this law is really enforced and Tokyo see a decline in gov’t revenue because sales have decreased (considering the spending power of otaku)…maybe the idiots might see the light.

    Supposedly, the PM doesn’t like this bill either…I wonder if he can do something to right this wrong.

    • Unfortunately, I don’t think he can anymore. Then again, I don’t know much about the Japanese constitution and how they run checks and balances between the national level and prefectural level there. The only thing that can be done is to bring an appeals to the courts but, AFAIK, the judiciary in Japan is very conservative, so that effort would just be rendered useless.

    • It’s close to the Supreme Court hearing the case on playing violent video games, when it’s clearly up to the rating system AND the integrity of parents in order to keep the status quo. But you’re right, the Japanese industry in anime, manga, and(sometimes) games only increased in revenue, gross, or any kinds of sales because the majority of their consumers are, in a sense, suckers. Of course, several media that take on the more practical and serious route also get great sales, but the ideal of underage, sexual acts/innuendos combined with the misguided moe factor, has become a running gag that sells even MORE.

      After how far Japan has gotten, who knows what’ll happen once the bill has passed. Otaku would probably go on a “Crazy German Kid” frenzy. lol

      I find it funny that the bill also explains that the government will officially humiliate the said publisher.

      • superdry

        I was thinking about this…the bill actually isn’t 100% (more like 99%) terrible as it restricts the sales of whatever the gov’t deems can’t be sold to minors. The sucktastic part is that it restricts what a creator can do…sometimes some things that are borderline sell pretty well.

        Most of the stuff airing at late night or manga/books/etc/ aimed at 20 something adults that minors can also get aren’t terrible – there isn’t anything too graphic in them like rape, unhealthy incest, whatever else that was implicit in the bill. But, it does lead back to my point of it sucks that a creator needs to think twice of what they create just in case it might get regulated to the adult section and there are less sales.

        Funny too how the bill, unless it was never mentioned anywhere in the western press covering the story, talks about sexual acts, but nothing about glorifying or showing extreme violence. What is Japan becoming, the USA where it’s okay to show a kid violence, but a nipple slip is something that is forbidden? Something I never understood….

        • Aoshi00

          But the thing is violence in Jpn games is alrdy censored, like decapitation in RE4/5 is gone (or all the Nudity in Heavy Rain / curses in Nier Replicant), unless they want to get a Cero Z which is a no-no like the A-O rating here, so game publishers are alrdy showing self restraint I guess. And you don’t see “red” blood in anime that air prime time anymore, they all appear dark brown in things like Bleach or Inuyasha.. compared to say Saint Seiya or Dragonball which had a lot of blood back then. It’s funny recently I saw Disney’s “Tangled” too, the main char hurt himself and was injured at two points in the movie, two quick shots w/ him bleeding were in there, so at least they know “no blood” is just too bogus and not believable.. like when people got shot in past Disney flicks, they press their hands on their wounds “look ma, no blood” :) I understand what you’re saying though. Just seems like more and more censoring on anime/games in Jpn, while the US wants to do the same too to games, but not live action Hollywood movies. The bottom line is sex sells, so…

          • superdry

            Ahh..thanks for the correction. I didn’t know that violence in games and such are already censored. I don’t watch prime time anime either.

            I stand corrected on my last point in my previous post.

  • “…and this self-regulation will be mandated from April 1st, 2011.”

    Biggest future April Fools joke ever.

  • WonderSteve

    It is just so illogical that Japan decides to suppress their major content industry, which is also their most important tie to the younger generation in other Asian economies.

  • damn governments, stop changing awesome Japan into USA ffffffff—

  • cj_iwakura

    Uh, so call me crazy, but… even if this bill wasn’t regulating stuff that’s tasteless to begin with(which IMO it is), it doesn’t seem like it’s going to do any real damage shy of waving the proverbial finger at publishers.

  • Hopefully this bill will curb the flow of fan service anime and force creators to form plots that don’t revolve around gratuitous panty shots of underage school girls.I will miss my beastiality shotacon doujins though,Im not sure how I’ll manage without them.

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