Japan's National Police Agency is finalizing plans to amend the law that places strict regulations on dancing at nightclubs and some establishments offering dance classes.
Currently, the law -- which dates back to 1948 -- makes it illegal for drinking establishments to allow customers to dance unless the business has the proper "dance license." Even with the license, however, there are further restrictions regarding the hour at which dancing has to stop (midnight), and also the suggestive nature of the dancing.
Such strict regulations have put a serious strain on the nightlife and nightclub establishments in major cities across Japan, although police often turn a blind eye to violations of the law.
All businesses that provide food and or drinks to customers and promote dancing fall under the heading "club," in the eyes of the current law and are subject to restrictions regarding their location and business hours.
A nonpartisan group of Diet members say the the restrictions placed on dancing in Japan are simply outdated and are seeking to revise the laws so that dancing should be less policed in the future.
Keiji Furuya, the chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, told a news conference on Friday: "While reflecting the opinions and wishes of those who want to reform the law, it is absolutely paramount that we seek a resolution that will not, in any way, negatively affect our unanimous goal to keep the youth of Japan safe, healthy and out of a life of crime," NTV reported.
The NPA panel is planning to host a gathering of experts and other related individuals sometime next month for a hearing to discuss the matter further. After that, a proposed amendment to the law will be submitted to the Diet sometime in the fall.© Japan Today