13
Dec
10

[drmchsr0] Tokyo plans to regulate “harmful materials” [Orange Farm Archive]

If Bill 156 passes, you ain’t gonna see things like this anymore. (O HAI HUMON (website, deviantart), I HOPE YOU DON’T MIND THIS)

If you haven’t been keeping up, here’s a summary.

Approximately 6 months ago in Tokyo, a bill regarding the restriction of certain “harmful materials” to minors (which is to say, mostly visual mediums) was not passed in Japan due to it’s vagueness.

Now, the bill is back for passing. It’s still pretty vague, but now, it has to adhere to criminal law. Which is to say, no loli stuff, no rape, defamation laws have to be followed, etc…

Which has led to the big 10 Manga publishers to boycott the Tokyo Anime Fair.

I remember something similar happened to the beer advertising industry. I don’t remember where it was passed, but no beer company wasn’t allowed to use nubile young women only to advertise beer on TV. Since then, there’s been a slew of creative advertisements that I really, really am impressed with (Carlton Draught notwithstanding. Whoever was hired, they did a smashing job! No wait, actually, Australia makes the best beer ads.)

However, anime isn’t beer, for one thing. And another thing, Japan isn’t Australia.

Japan’s culture is basically patriarchal (with a few prominent females). Historically and culturally, Japan has very little regard for the status of women, which is a new thing introduced post-WW2. And even then, there’s no denying that women in Japan are still being treated like things rather than people. Though I hear that last bit is slowly changing. (This Bill doesn’t even address their social problems, or the demand for porn to begin with.)

And as much as I’d love to regulate the availability of questionable material to children, this Bill may become a harbinger for even more restrictive laws across Tokyo, or even Japan. In China, they are cracking down on “undesirable materials” and “limiting access to such materials”. But of course, the world doesn’t believe them, saying it’s just an excuse for them to crack down on dissidents. (This Bill, if passed, could lead to even more dangerous things, like a crackdown on cultural icons, or even worse, dissidents.)

Personally, I’d rather Japan make more super robot anime and creative things like Kaiba rather than moe and softcore pornography, but as much as I find their uses for freedom of expression distasteful, I’ll defend their right to do just that.

Some people may say, you idiot, you live in a country with little to no freedom of expression, how can you do that? Well, here’s the thing. You tend to appreciate something when it’s gone or wasn’t there to begin with. Ever seen how people treasure certain things they don’t have once they have it? It’s the same thing here.

EDIT: Well, shit! It’s PASSED. We can only hope the assembly rejects it.

DELICIOUS LINKS

I found out about this from a friend on IRC. A few days later, DAN KANEMITSU, BADASS TRANSLATOR AND ACTIVIST broke the news. Dan Kanemitsu’s blog.

The picture used is from Scandinavia and the World, a very, very funny webcomic drawn by Humon. I have already accredited the picture to her on top.

ANN reports on the fracas. Here, here, and here. (Say what you will about ANN, it’s still a trusted NEWS source. Not a trusted OPINION source.)

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4 Responses to “[drmchsr0] Tokyo plans to regulate “harmful materials” [Orange Farm Archive]”


  1. 1 komidol
    December 13, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    I’m glad your heart and morals are in the right place, but even some of the Asian stereotypes about looking down on women and such have been greatly exaggerated. In the last 10 years significant progress has been made in all fields, so I think even going as far as to say that Japan’s culture is “that way” (it certainly is in some – perhaps powerful – families and areas, but hardly the majority of tokyo and other major cities compared to other near-criminal treatment in other major countries) is a bit much.

    None the less I’ve heard a lot about this lately. I’ve mostly decided to graze over the topic here as infrequently as possible as I don’t personally write to start movements (though there is nothing wrong with informing people), but it is a topic of concern that erodes my absolutely critical love of the Freedom of Expression. Not to mention this sort of action is less obscene material and more borderline “thought crime”.

    These are mostly the actions of an older generation facing a topic they do not understand. I think the industry backlash may make this ban face a repeal or at worst deepen the deviance level of our beloved otaku subculture. To think the things we’ve been writing about in the last 2 years are suddenly borderline “illegal”…

    In any event, this will certainly cause an upstir…I hope some action is taken by the people of Tokyo in the next couple weeks (albeit somewhat peaceful). To have this be the start of a series of bans against this issue would certainly be worse than the prohibition itself.

  2. December 13, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    Okay yeah, when you do put it that way, yeah, I done goofed on the social situation of females in Japan.

    Oh, and when you live in a country where freedom of expression gets you sued by the government… … … it’s easy to imagine.

  3. 4 komidol
    December 14, 2010 at 7:05 AM

    I’m sorry you live under an authoritarian regime ;_;


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