Japan’s ongoing efforts to ban its only healthy industry continue, with the latest proposed law demanding anime, manga and games be lumped in with child pornography as the subject of a new ban.
The LDP supported proposal in question calls for drastic strengthening of Japan’s child pornography legislation, explicitly classing 2D material as “virtual child pornography” and demanding prison sentences for possessing it:
In addition, we should take notice of the ‘virtual obscene imagery and depictions of sexual abuse’ seen in manga, anime and games, and do something to stop this ongoing torrent of child pornography.
We need to immediately prevent people from visiting cild pornography sites on the Internet, and ensure all possession of child pornography is punished as a crime.
What immediately attracted the attention of critics was the fact that it is being proposed on the basis of a petition with a grand total of 222 signatures (from ordinary people as opposed to legislators).
As a formal petition for a change in the law, its chances of eventually passing into law and the back-room horse-trading it likely represents are both uncertain – but as the pro-censorship camp’s basic strategy of repeatedly proposing the same legislation over and over until it passes has worked on several occasions and still faces no organised opposition, it hardly seems unthinkable for it to pass in whole or in part (with the more extreme parts to follow later).
Although the LDP clearly already encompasses the crazed authoritarian section of the political spectrum, its increasing obsession with attacks on otaku culture is generally suspected to be the result of an increase in the influence of various religious and feminist pressure groups on it – the most notable of which have been operating a long-term strategy of inventing a new category of “virtual child pornography” and then inserting anything 2D they object to into it, whilst insisting Japan must “catch up” to the high levels of sex crime enjoyed in more repressed nations.
Online there is an increasing realisation that, for whatever reasons, the LDP now has it in for otaku:
“The LDP proposes legislation based on 222 signatures now?”
“They are still at it?”
“The LDP just wants to ban all anime, manga and games. They are seriously crazy now, just a bunch of Nazis…”
“What happened to all the idiots who were saying these bans are fine as they won’t include 2D? Probably just a bunch of LDP shills trying to make sure their party looks good online by saying they won’t touch 2D.”
“What’s up with this timing?”
“They are probably hoping to slip it past when everyone is busy with other legislation.”
“What’s troubling is if this gets used as a bargaining piece to secure LDP support for the DPJ’s new budget.”
“This is what you get from allowing all these shady pressure groups to influence political parties.”
“This is because the LDP managed to get its precious ban pushed through in Tokyo. In 2 years time this will pass as well.”
“They are going to make yet another one of those weird censorship bodies to give jobs to retiring civil servants?”
“They just reckon otaku will never push back, so they can make political capital out of bashing them all the time, everything else is just a smokescreen.”
“Are they trying to ruin Japan?
The LDP are total scum… there is nothing to be gained from censoring creative works, nothing.
On the other hand, the potential loss is immeasurable, truly immeasurable. If they succeed in destroying the unique culture Japan has created, all that will be left is the borrowed culture, like in Korea now.
It’s pitiful. I hope the LDP is ruined!”
“The usual UN rape statistics – incidence of rape per 100,000 people:
Canada : 78.08 CP banned, 2D banned
USA: 32.05 CP banned, 2D banned (but the ban is constitutionally invalid)
UK: 16.23 CP banned
France: 14.36 CP banned
Germany: 9.12 CP banned
“The group pushing all the child porn ban stuff in Japan is called ECPAT, and they basically view all anime, manga, games and otaku products as ‘child abuse.’
Look at this:
From a 2005 government study into the size of the moe market:
‘The analysis estimates the market for moe products (books, images and games), which are related to anime and manga, was worth 88.8 billion yen (US$800 million) in 2003.’
ECPAT has been saying Japan’s ‘child pornography market’ is also 88.8 billion yen. They simply call all moe child pornography.”
[From ECPAT's 'Violence against Children in Cyberspace':
In some countries, material known as ‘virtual pornography’ is legal and big business. In Japan, for example, a report analysing developments in the country’s computer contents market (including software and publications such as comics) gives an indication of the business value of child abuse illustrations and cartoons in some anime or manga materials.
The analysis estimates the market for moe products (books, images and games), which are related to anime and manga, was worth 88.8 billion yen (US$800 million) in 2003.
The term moe is used in a neutral sense for economic analysis. But taken literally it refers to a fetishist sexual attraction that some fans of computer games, anime and manga have for female child characters [...] the moe market may therefore be regarded as related to child sex abuse images. The report expected the market for moe products to expand.]
“So this is why Japan keeps getting called a ‘great nation’ of child pornography? What on earth are they thinking…”
“What’s really frightening about this lot is that if they get their way, you could be locked up and have your life ruined for just owning a single picture of a naked 2D girl they decided was supposed to represent a child.”