The recent moves to strengthen laws against pornography involving underage participants opted to consider what to do about 2D loli separately, and the Diet has now decided what to do about this – it will ignore the matter for three years, and then decide how (if) to reform the law based on the results of an investigation. This might be considered a skilful dodge of the whole messy issue.
It will do the same regarding attempting to force censorship measures targeting pornography featuring underage participants on ISPs, citing the need for technical progress in the area.
The other measures are set to become law, with “simple possession” for the purpose of “satisfying sexual curiosity” receiving a fine of no more than ¥1,000,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year, and with much harsher punishments for commercial dealing and distribution.
A common reaction on 2ch seems to be to interpret this as a simple countdown to a rigged investigation which will recommend a ban, but I feel compelled to offer a different interpretation – this seems to be more of a relatively graceful cop out for the politicians involved, to get out of having to offer objections to a “think of the children” law.
Whilst it may be that attitudes in Japan towards lolicon related issues are much more relaxed and reasonable than elsewhere, it would still not look good for a politician to come out and argue for an exemption in the midst of the current theatre. In that case, leaving the matter to some anonymous committee’s verdict three years hence, which can be discretely accepted or ignored, would be the most politically feasible way of demurring on a ban.
Still, vigilance and opposition is required if such a law is not to illiberally erode freedom of expression.
Via Internet Watch.