Virtual Child Porn Law Trucking Along

Won't someone think of the children. The imagery children. Don't worry, Japanese politicians are.

The Tokyo Metropolitan government is moving forward on legislation that will sets to ban provocative "visual depictions" of characters who appear to be 18 years-old and younger.

According to website Anime News Network, the proposal, submitted on February 24, would amend the Metropolitan Tokyo youth welfare law on child pornography and limit the manner in which "nonexistent youths" are represented as well as clauses that call for the filtering of images of minors online and via mobile phone.

The "visual depictions" are understood to encompass underage characters in manga, computer games and video games — i.e., virtual characters.

If the legislation does pass, it would be law in Metropolitan Tokyo and not elsewhere in Japan. So that would seem to mean that companies based outside of Tokyo (like Osaka-based visual novel companies Leaf and Key) would be exempt. However, Tokyo legislation sets precedent for the entire country.

The impact of this would not only drastically effect the Japanese game industry, but the anime and manga industry. How does one judge what is provocative and what isn't? One could argue that it is sexually provocative when Shin-chan from Crayon Shin-chan draws an elephant on his wennie. It's not — it's stupid and funny. But, how do you judge what is age appropriate for virtual characters? By whether or not they wear sailor suits? Who sets the moral standards?

As CNNGo's David Marx has pointed out, Japan should worry about actual child pornography in Japan. You know, pornography with real children being taken advantage of and not imagery ones. While the sale of children pornography is prohibited, it is apparently it is still legal to own pictures of children 12 years-old and up.

And actual pornography aside, the cottage industry of DVDs and photobooks of little girls (some as young as four years old!) wearing swimsuits and thongs, eating bananas and licking ice cream are certainly more off a pressing issue than virtual characters. This is real people (real children, dammit!) getting taken advantage of.

In recent years, the Japanese government has cracked down on child pornography and "junior idols" — necessary and much needed steps to prevent the exploitation of children. But certainly politicians can tell the difference between what is real and what isn't?

Thanks, Matt!


Comments

    Looks like brian is worried about his type of ero games being banned.

    I think it's a good step forward as I'd say people attracted to the real stuff may have gotten into it through the anime and manga depictions. Or if not, it'll be good to even erase that stigma that children are alright to leer at. Obviously Shin-Chan-esque stuff is alright, but there's definitely stuff out there in Japan that is intentionally sexualising children.

    I agree with you in that they should definitely be pushing to remove real child pornography too, but I'd say this is a good step forward.

      Or, on the other side of the track, you're making something sexual even more taboo - to the extreme of it being outlawed in even a cartoon depiction.

      While not disagreeing with you, Matt, this certainly does beg the question of whether certain types may want child pornography (real or drawn) even more after a complete outlaw.

      There are already so many sexual acts considered taboo - while none certainly by (a majority of country's) law, they are still something to be "frowned" upon and in doing so become more desirable. For the sake of being as PG as possible, I won't list any examples, but I'm certain we can all think of one or two.

      Outlawing child pornography is CERTAINLY needed, please don't think I'm of the contrary opinion, banning what could be almost an "ease off" type scenario seems detrimental.

      Either way this is certainly something to pay attention to.

      I would say that is a step backwards. Why spend time and money in virtual depictions of children, when real children are being unethically exploited.

      They should get rid of the real thing first, then debate whether or not the virtual stuff should be either hidden or banned.

      I am not supporting virtual CP at all here by the way. But I do support the notion that all drawn pictures do no real harm to anyone. This is not really an ethical debate at all, just a moral one. Last I checked, no logical reasoning or ethical judgement ever came from a moral debate.

    This will certainly decimate sales within the Idol industry here in Japan, especially regarding photobook sales of girls such as AKB members who are not yet 18.

    And images of a sexual nature of a 12 year old being legal in Japan? I think not. More research, some references, and something aside from an "apparently" are required.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now