FFFUUU-- Part 2: Tokyo anti-loli bill passes for real


Love is over. Well, any love that Tokyo's government deems "harmful" or "unjustifiably glorified and exaggerated". That's over

Bill 156, also known as the "virtual crimes bill" or the "nonexistent youth bill revision", "anti-everything bill" or "anti-loli bill advent no-more-children" (I made that last one up), has just passed the final round of voting in the full assembly vote and is officially law. It takes effect in July next year, after a preliminary period of "self-regulation" scheduled to begin in April.

The bill passed with support from both the LDP and DPJ parties (which combined make up more than 90% of the legislature), the latter of which finally caved with the addition of non-binding clauses suggesting that the regulating bodies respect the works' artistic values and such. Hmph! Fat chance, especially if rumors are true about some legislators asking if the bill could be extended to cover homosexuality through the criminalization of such.

You can refer to the other day's coverage for more details on the bill and what it might mean for Japan's anime, manga, and videogame industry (live-action entertainment industries remain totally unaffected), but put plain, it drastically widens the scope of material the Tokyo Government can apply a commercial "kiss of death" to. It's not a ban or a restriction of illegal pornography, but rather an expansion of what kinds of material the government can declare to be overly smutty. Just as bad, or even worse, really.

This isn't over, of course. It's not as if all manga and anime and games will disappear. It's still just restricted to Tokyo. Publishers, including the massive "Big 10" conglomerates led by the likes of Kadokawa, will fight the bill and the moral zealots behind it tooth-and-nail. Even Japan's Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, voiced some concern over the bill's long-term effect on Japan's "soft power".

We foreigners are hardly in a position to protest a Japanese law and have any effect, but perhaps the best way foreign otaku can pitch in is, as Dan Kanemitsu suggests, to speak up when the far-too-common, inaccurate, even hateful misconceptions about Japan as the world's sole repository of disgusting child porn and perversity come up. This will be especially relevant as foreign news outlets pick up the story. Write letters, post on blogs, and speak out when you can. This involves things that are relevant to your interests, you'd only be right to try at protecting them.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



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