Shonen Jump has finally made a public condemnation of the ongoing efforts of Japanese politicians to “destroy Japanese manga” with their obsessive attempts to brand it child pornography.
The latest edition of Shonen Jump (2014-#3) contains an editorial in which the magazine emphatically states its opposition to recent efforts to get 2D material subject to new laws against child pornography:
1. The law’s insistence on a 3 year “study to determine the harm manga and anime do to children and whether it should be subject to restrictions”
This law should be about protecting actual children from harm. Instead it starts with the dubious presumption that manga and animation can trigger sexual abuse of minors, which has never even been demonstrated.
How is it even possible to consider researching how to censor this material when no factual or objective data about this supposed relationship with sexual abuse even exists in the first place?
Japan’s anime and manga culture is important content which underpins “Cool Japan.”
Because of freedom of expression, Japanese culture has developed into something it can be proud – a law like this would kill that culture, so we oppose it.
2. The criminalisation of “simple possession”
The present definition of “child pornography is exceptionally vague and ambiguous. If it were put into the law, far from protecting the rights of children it would do great harm to all.
People possessing photographs of their own children in swimwear or unknowingly being sent material may become victims of the law.
It is very likely the new law will give rise to many false charges.
These are some of the reasons we oppose the new child porn bill, and readers and writers alike should join hands in opposing it.