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Aichi Governor Vows Crackdown on Lewd Selfies by Ghibli Park Visitors

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Photos have been circulating on Twitter showing people touching breasts of female character statues, photographing inside of skirts

© Anime News Network
The Ghibli Park includes many life-size displays of beloved Ghibli characters for visitors to take photos with. Unfortunately, despite the park's family-friendly appeal, some visitors have posted inappropriate photos online. The Mainichi Shimbun reported that photos have been circulating on Twitter showing people touching the breasts of the female character statues and photographing the inside of their skirts, among other misdeeds.

At a press conference last Thursday, Aichi Governor Hideaki Ōmura expressed firm disapproval of the trend. "It is extremely regrettable," he said, likening the lewd photos to the destruction of property. "Ghibli Park is a place for adults and children to have fun while experiencing Ghibli films. I don't want people who do things that many find offensive to come to the park." He also said he would ask the Ghibli Park operating company to stop inappropriate behavior when spotted.

He added that if the person who took the inappropriate photos is identified, the Aichi government will "take severe measures," implying legal action.

Studio Ghibli has refrained from commenting on the issue. Some people on social media have objected to the studio's silence, arguing, "Don't let this slide," or "Are they not willing to protect their characters?"

The Ghibli Park opened on November 1, two years behind its original opening schedule in 2020. The park started selling tickets internationally on January 10.

The Dondoko Forest, Ghibli's Grand Warehouse, and Hill of Youth areas are all open for the public. The Mononoke Forest and Valley of Witches areas are scheduled to open in late 2023 and March 2024, respectively. The park takes up about 7.1 hectares (about 17.5 acres) of the existing 194-hectare (about 479-acre) Aichi Expo Memorial Park, where the World Expo 2005 was held.

Sources: Mainichi Shimbun (Shiho Sakai), CNN (Xiaofei Xu and Amy Woodyatt)

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