Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishihara remains adamant that Bill 156 is a step in the right direction in stemming the tide of extreme sexual depictions of minors in Tokyo.
The controversial manga censorship ordinance pushed through by the Tokyo metropolitan government late last year has been much talked about. Specifically, the bill aims to regulate manga that “unreasonably praise or exaggerate” extreme sex. While elements of the ordinance took effect earlier this year, it will come into complete effect on July 1.
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 Ishihara on the grounds of protecting minors and because of other important factors. 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 can get to Kanagawa from Shinjuku. Similarly, Chiba is not so far away from Ueno; therefore, if the entire region is not included, then the ordinance 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, are they breaking the law?
Ishihara can't please everyone because it is a very emotional topic in certain circles. However, it is clear that explicit animation and manga generate a lot of capital and the creativity it unleashes also crosses over into other areas. Already restrictions have been put on six titles. 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 it will not be easy given the reality of mass communications and the sheer size of Tokyo.© Modern Tokyo Times