Anime Delay Shows How Strict Japan Is About Drugs

Anime Delay Shows How Strict Japan Is about Drugs

Here's a thought: If the West is too lenient regarding controlled substances, then perhaps Japan is too strict? As reported by Asahi News, Japanese popstar Aska of the wildly popular group Chage & Aska was recently arrested for allegedly possessing stimulants, including MDMA.

Increasingly, Japanese authorities have been cracking down on drugs and celebrities. Instead of letting these famous individuals off, like police seem to do in the US, the Japanese police and the country's media appear to make examples of them, stringing them out to dry. This might be a good thing! It also might be a bit much.

The arrest is national news and has led to Universal Music Japan to cancel Aska's contract and to halt the sales of the group's music — including digital releases. Yes, really. (I do imagine the second-hand market is doing well though!)

If you are unfamiliar with Chage & Aska, you can see the duo performing their smash hit "Yah Yah Yah" in the below video. Aska is the guy who isn't wearing the hat.

Universal Music Japan's decision to stop selling the group's music shows the company is not interested in capitalising on negative publicity. I hope the company feels the same way about marketing pushes when musicians die. I doubt it though.

Since the group's music can't currently be sold in Japan, an upcoming Blu-ray box set of Hayao Miyazaki's films is being delayed from June 18 to July 2. The set includes the video for Chage & Aska song "On Your Mark." Studio Ghibli animated the video, and Hayao Miyazaki directed and conceived it as a way to help himself overcome the writer's block he was having during the creation of Princess Mononoke. The video was screened as a short before Whisper of the Heart in Japanese theatres.

Anime Delay Shows How Strict Japan Is about Drugs

AV Watch reports that Walt Disney Japan is removing the music video for the song "On Your Mark." Walt Disney Japan is also removing the video from Studio Ghibli collection of short films that was previously released on DVD. In a way, Disney is erasing the short film from Studio Ghibli's back catalogue. It's as if it never existed.

The video, however, can currently still be seen online. It's pretty cool, and a box set without it can hardly be called a true compilation of Miyazaki's work.

Meanwhile, the Japanese media continues to report on how disappointed music fans are that Paul McCartney recently had to cancel his Japanese tour due to a virus he caught. While we hope the 71-year-old British rocker is OK, the irony is especially thick because McCartney was arrested at Narita International Airport in 1980 for trying to bring drugs into the country.

ASKA逮捕の余波で宮崎駿監督BD-BOXが発売延期に。「On Your Mark」を抜き7月2日発売 [AV Watch]


    So they are saying a Miyazaki video is no longer available because a musician took drugs?

    Sounds harsh but it's not like they're executing anyone like some places. Just removing the source of what makes these people think they're exempt - their wealth and fame.

    Anything that bursts the bubble of, 'Don't you know who I am?' culture is a good thing in my books. I wish stiffer penalties for public figures could take off over here and in the US. Maybe fewer idiots would try climbing over each other on reality TV for even the slimmest chance at a lifestyle free of obligations or responsibilities to even the law, let alone their responsibilities as role models.

      Yeah but... freezing their income completely? I think the article has a point about the extent of this being a little harsh. The video is incredible, its ridiculous to go and take away all instances of it like that. Bit silly to relate it to execution if you're comparing how others in Japan are sentenced for similar crimes.

        I was thinking on a global scale, with lackadaisical west on one end of the scale, Indonesian executions on the other, and Japan sitting quite comfortably distant from either extreme - if this story is anything to go by. To put things in perspective with our immediate and topical neighbours.

        And yeah, call me a marxist, but I think once you start talking about incomes in high-six to seven figures, freezing some of that is just fine. You shouldn't take someone's income if it's required to feed their children, but if the choice is between how many luxury cars they can buy this year, my sympathy is dramatically diminished.

        One of the major problems highlighted very starkly in the recent Australian federal budget is that the 'risk vs reward' system of wealth distribution removes most if not all of the risk from the equation once you have enough reward. It doesn't seem to matter how they try to increase the portion of Australia's burden shouldered by the 20% who control 60% of the nation's wealth, the simple fact of HAVING wealth allows them to further increase how much they have and reduce how much they get taxed. Negative gearing, investments, on-paper-only 'losses', it doesn't change the fact that they can get at that wealth.

        Not to mention the Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.

        The thrust of this article honestly seems to be, "Isn't Japan strict because now I can't buy this stuff I like?" If you could iron THAT part out, I suspect there might not even be an article or complaint.

        And in this instance it doesn't even seem to be 'freezing income' as much as 'cancelling contract'. The whole, "You'll never work in this town again," effect, doesn't seem to preclude them from picking up another contract with someone less concerned about the value of their moral image.

        Anyone who can liquidate their assets, invest in a basic savings account and earn several times more annually in interest than the median income of the rest of the country, while never working again? I could give less than two fucks about.

        Last edited 22/05/14 9:46 am

          Dude, they halted all of their music sales, including digital. Maybe they can get another contract, sure, but *all* the work theyve done has been halted. That's ridiculous, their work has nothing to do with one of them being arrested with drugs on him. Anyway, obviously we have fundamentally different views on this, so thats that.

    The problem here is that it's effectively not just Chage & Aska being punished. Those who thought they were buying a comprehensive collection of Ghibli stuff are being shortchanged because the music on one item was created by somebody who was found to have taken drugs twenty years later, well after the original video was released.

    It's like removing all Rolf Harris's classic songs because he's being accused (convicted?) of some pretty nasty molestation crimes.

    The statement here is "you've been caught taking drugs, so we're taking away everything you have accomplished in your life so far, and preventing those who liked any of it from accessing your work in future." It's definitely making an example, but it's massively disproportionate.

      Yeah I think this is more to the point of what I really dislike about this

      While I don't have much sympathy for the artists almost entirely thanks to Tall Poppy Syndrome, this particular aspect I'm also less keen on.

      But my reading is also that it's not an action by the law but by the private company responsible for selling the goods.

      I wonder if it has something to do with the fine print of the contract, or if it's a PR action by the company to distance themselves from the artist.

    I disagree that the west is too lenient. Maybe with celebrities but not with the general population.

    "If the West is too lenient regarding controlled substances"

    yeahhhhhh, i dont think so. because of drugs America imprisons more people than any other country in the world and most of those are because of personal use and not selling and even worse, most are from pot and not a dangerous drug.

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