Tokyo: Anti-Anime and Manga Bill to be enforced on July 1st
Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Shintaro Ishihara, the Governor of Tokyo, remains adamant that Bill 156 is a step in the right direction in stemming the tide of extreme sexual depictions of minors in Tokyo. Therefore, the anti-Anime and anti-Manga Bill will come into complete effect on July 1st but elements began prior to this date.
Many artists, individuals, organizations and people in Tokyo are against the new measures because they claim that it is a threat to civil liberties and that it will hinder a vibrant sector. However, others support Shintaro Ishihara on the grounds of protecting minors and because of other important factors.
The ordinance which was passed by the local government in Tokyo claims that regulations are needed in order to safeguard minors. This applies to animation scenes which depict rape, incest, child marriage and the sexual abuse of minors.
However, if the ordinance only includes Tokyo then it seems rather strange because Saitama Prefecture is only 11 minutes away by train from Ikebukuro and within around 18 to 19 minutes you are in Kanagawa from Shinjuku. Similarly, Chiba is not so far away from Ueno therefore if the entire region is not included it appears rather limited and open to be manipulated.
Also, what if you buy animation which depicts rape, incest, and the abuse of minors, from an online company based in another part of Japan? Will this also become illegal? If so, then what measures can prevent packages from containing the newly banned material and if individuals download their new purchase online then are they breaking the law? .
Before people point the finger at Japan it should be stated that child marriage of minors aged from 8 or 9 years of age to very old men in Saudi Arabia is allowed (also applies to other nations). Therefore, will outside pressure be put on nations which implement Islamic Sharia law in countries like Saudi Arabia and Yemen which allow child marriage based on this legal system?
Which is worse? Child marriage of children to very old men in nations like Saudi Arabia or animation which is not based on reality?
Shintaro Ishihara can’t please everyone because it is a very emotional topic in certain circles. However it is clear that explicit animation and manga generates a lot of capital and the creativity it unleashes also crosses over into other areas.
Already restrictions have been put on six titles and the new ordinance is preparing other titles which will face the same problems. Aki Sora, Oku-sama wa Shōgakusei, Lovers & Sharing, Koibito 8-gō, Hana-Hiyori, and Midori no Kisetsu, are the first to feel the act of this bill.
The final consequences remain unknown but with the closeness of other prefectures it is clear that nothing is what it seems.
It is also clear that this problem will be brought up again in the new future and much depends on the determination of people against the bill because the policing of this new bill will not be easy given the reality of mass communications and the sheer size of Tokyo
Source of main photo from http://www.costume-designer.info/page/4