Arama They Didn't

6:44 pm - 05/28/2013

LDP seeking to amend Japan’s child pornography laws

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party together with co-sponsors New Komeito Party and the Japan Restoration Party are seeking to amend Japan’s current child pornography laws. The bill proposes to make possession of child pornography a crime, as opposed to the current law where it is not illegal as long as the owner is not selling, distributing or creating the images or video.

If the amendment is approved, possession of sexual images of children under 18 will be illegal, with a fine of one million yen and if the owner has the images for “the purpose of satisfying sexual curiosity,”, less than a year of jail time. The bill also has provisions to make transmitting child pornography online difficult for the perpetrators. While the draft bill has not yet been made public, some people have already talked about the concerns about the bill amendment. Taro Yamada of the center-right political party Your Party said that the draft bill does not differentiate between using real children and just images of children, as you would in anime, manga or computer-generated characters. Writers and creators of manga material that might be considered pornographic under this bill have spoken out about it as well. Izumi Mito/Raika Kobayashi, author of Yaoi-type novels (a genre that depicts romantic and sexual relationships between young men) has taken to Twitter to voice out his opinion while manga creator Ken Akamatsu went to the Diet and the LDP headquarters to express his concerns that the bill would hinder freedom of speech and censor some type of media.

The bill is being submitted to the National Diet of Japan this week. They would need a majority vote between the Lower and Upper House for the bill to become a law. While the LDP and their junior party New Komeito have supermajority in the Lower House but not the Upper House. But even if the Upper House rejects the bill, the Lower House can still pass it unilaterally after a 60-day waiting period if it is supported by a supermajority. They are aiming to pass the bill before the current session ends on June 26.


johnnypenn 28th-May-2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
First, I think they should also change their consent laws as well. Because as far as I know a child at age 13 can give consent to have sex.
Secondly, while I understand that this may be a hard law for manga artist and writer's why can't they just age up their characters?
I live in America and stay as far away from underage-anything as I can because for as long as I can remember this law has been in place. But for Japan, I think people are just getting upset that they won't have as much freedom as before - a child is a child no matter what medium a person is depicting that child in. Fictional character's could possibly get a bit of leeway - possible - as long as nothing actually happens on screen. If shit happens to my child character's it always happens off screen.

I also always make my characters the age of consent or older because of reasons.
liime_arix 28th-May-2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
Actually it says worldwide 13 but there's laws within each prefecture with 17/18 being the age. So even you do have sex with say a 13, once the police find out, your ass is going to jail. Recently a internet celeb over there got arrested for having sex with a 17 year old.
johnnypenn 29th-May-2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks for clearing that up for me. It makes sense that each prefecture would have their own laws just as in the US each state has a law like that.
I missed that report of the celebrity.
kokoromaix 29th-May-2013 03:10 am (UTC)
Regarding why mangakas keep those characters young, I think there's some weird law in Japan that says it's acceptable as long as pubic hair isn't showing? Or something like that...
Which is why they made their characters younger after that law was enforced.
johnnypenn 29th-May-2013 09:48 pm (UTC)
I didn't know that one either. Sometimes Japan confuses me.
kokoromaix 30th-May-2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think I read about it an article a long time ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember where. And Japan has even more weird pornography laws...

Personally, I think it's great that they seem to be seriously considering this law. I think it's a step in the right direction.

I'm not into hentai or yaoi or whatever, so this law doesn't worry me much. Although I agree that there's a line between artistic freedom...and just plain pornography.
tilmon 29th-May-2013 03:52 am (UTC)
A child is a child, but paint is paint. It's incredibly problematic to restrict artistic expression, because in doing so, we run the clear risk of establishing and prosecuting thought crimes, in which no one was harmed or even intended to be harmed. Further, not all sexual images are pornographic, even ones depicting graphic sexual acts. Not even ones that depict minors engaging in sexual activity, such as Sweden's sex ed animation, Sex on the Map.
johnnypenn 29th-May-2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying that everyone should self-censure. Only that I self-sensure because there are some things I am not comfortable with. Underage fiction/media being one of those things. I've a yaoi manga (though it's more Shounen-ai than yaoi) where a school boy has a huge crush on an older man who just so happens to be a teacher, and it's kinda sad because the man has to tell the boy that's he involved with someone else (who's an adult) so that's the closest I've ever come to underage. None of the stories in this manga are at all nc17 rated either.
It's called "La Esperanga" and I've only got volume 2. The funny thing about it is that my Mom bought it for me without knowing what yaoi was. lol.

I suppose if a sex manual/film is approved by the government it doesn't fall into the hemisphere of illegal child pornography. And on that segue; there was a man in California who wrote a whole manual on child pornography for child molesters and for a while it was on Amazon but when people got wind of it, they had a whole bunch of protests and stuff and eventually the book was taken off the website. The man was pretty upset about it, but for some reason people who had read/seen/whatever on the book said it fell into being illegal because it told people how to do stuff to children or kidnap them or something about the book was a "how to" - I dunno, it's been a while.

So's good and sometimes it's bad. I suppose it just depends on how far the Mangaka's are gonna fight certain things in the bill. Though, I'm sure it'll go through as is unless they get enough people upset about the manga stuff to change it to fit or something. maybe they'll even rule out manga because it's an art form and not RL. But if it's RL images or vids than it's illegal. At least, that'd be the way I"d fix it.
ar_feiniel_ 29th-May-2013 06:06 am (UTC)
After having seen this vlogger's video, I've started casting a wary eye on some of the ways the underaged are sexualized in Japanese media. I can't say I'm against a law like this, although I think there is merit to the concerns about real images vs generated ones.
monotuned 29th-May-2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
The sounds of nature at the background was rather distracting, but that was a pretty interesting video to watch/hear.
lovely_tunes 29th-May-2013 11:00 am (UTC)


should have done so AGES ago
rim1789 30th-May-2013 10:57 pm (UTC)
I am all for it.
ryocchi 1st-Jun-2013 06:26 am (UTC)
Hell yeah, about damn time.
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