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Mother and Son File Lawsuit Over Kagawa Prefecture's Ordinance Restricting Video Game Playing Time

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Non-binding guidelines mark first local government ordinance in Japan aimed at combating video game addiction

Kyodo News reported on Thursday that a mother and her 17-year-old son have filed a lawsuit against the Kagawa Prefecture, claiming that a recent ordinance restricting video game playing time among children is "unconstitutional" and "violates fundamental human rights." They are seeking 1.54 million yen (approximately US$14,300) in damages.

The two, who are residents of Takamatsu city in the Kagawa Prefecture, filed their claim at the Takamatsu district court on Thursday. The Prefecture told Kyodo News that it lacks information on the lawsuit.

The ordinance, which attempts to combat video game addiction, took effect on April 1. It was enacted by a majority vote following discussions in the prefectural assembly earlier this year, and marks the first time a local government in Japan has set guidelines restricting video game and smartphone usage.

The non-binding guidelines restrict children under the age of 18 to 60 minutes of video game playing or smartphone usage per weekday and 90 minutes on weekends. It also forbids children under the age of 18 from using game devices after 10pm, or 9pm for children under the age of 12. The prefecture has no plans to enforce penalties on households that do not comply with the guidelines and ask that households apply rules under their own discretion.

Source: Kyodo News via Hachima Kikō

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