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Tokyo Loli Ban Now Total “Hentai” Ban

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Proponents of Tokyo’s failed ban on loli manga are to resubmit their proposal as a law with even broader scope than before, targeting depictions of any “illegal” sexual activity in a legal assault which could have a devastating impact on Japan’s creative industries.

The previous ban, which failed to pass, took the form of a Tokyo metropolitan ordinance restricting sales of anime, manga and games which contain erotic depictions “reminiscent of a person under the age of 18” or which “might be feared to obstruct the healthy development of youths.”

The revised law now demands a restriction on sales of anime, manga or games which “improperly glorify or emphasise” illegal sexual acts, such as rape, groping, BDSM, voyeurism, exhibitionism, etc., by extension including underage sexual activity as well.

Dropping the mention of “fictional youths” is apparently a tactical move intended make the law appear to be taking into account objections to the previous law and “limiting its scope,” but the new wording is even more ambiguous and sweeping than before.

In particular, the revision of the wording to cover “illegal” acts only conveniently allows the law to target a much wider array of material than previously, ranging from sexual harassment to the underage sexual activity the law’s proponents were so excited over previously.

As usual, the law targets only anime, manga and games, completely ignoring films and novels (it should be noted Tokyo’s governor Ishihara, a key proponent of the ban, has written a number of novels featuring scenes of graphic rape).

The law would thus classify a manga depiction of the Japanese literary classic “The Tale of Genji” (which features a young girl being kidnapped and reared as a sex slave, ultimately being raped) as obscene literature, whilst leaving an identical version of the same story conveyed in its original novel format or as a film alone completely.

Just as previously, a law affecting Tokyo would have similar effects to a nationwide law as the majority of Japan’s anime, manga and game industry is concentrated in Tokyo and would have to comply with it.

Proponents of the law have apparently resolved to keep resubmitting the same legislation over and over (this is now their third attempt) until it somehow slips through, necessitating ongoing vigilance from those who support freedom of expression.

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