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Tokyo's 'Nonexistent Youth' Bill Rejected by Assembly

posted on by Egan Loo
Government aims to revise, re-submit bill to restrict sexual depictions of youths

The full Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly has rejected the bill to restrict sexualized depictions of "nonexistent youths" on Wednesday. The bill would have amended Tokyo's existing Youth Healthy Development Ordinance, which already prohibits the sale of "harmful publications" to minors younger than 18 years old.

Under the bill, the category of "harmful publications" would have encompassed sexual depictions of "nonexistent youths" — such as in manga, anime, games, and other materials. It would also designate material that deal with "anti-social acts" of sexual nature, such as rape and incest, as "harmful publications."

The Democratic Party of Japan (the largest faction in the assembly with 53 out of 127 seats), the Japanese Communist Party (8 seats), and the Tokyo Seikatsusha Network (3 seats) opposed the bill. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara , his Liberal Democratic Party (38 seats), and the New Komeito Party (23 seats) supported it. The last time that a bill presented by any Tokyo governor was defeated in the assembly was in 1988.

The General Affairs Committee of the assembly had already voted against the bill on Monday. Ishihara and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Office for Youth Affairs and Public Safety had originally pushed for the bill's passage in March, but it met resistance from manga creators and authors who said that it infringed on the freedom of expression. 1,421 manga creators, 10 publishing companies, the Japan Pen Club, the Japan Cartoonists Association, and the Writers Guild of Japan voiced their opposition to the bill.

Governor Ishihara told the press after the assembly's session ended on Wednesday that the Democratic Party of Japan should present a tangible counter-proposal of its own. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government under Governor Ishihara plans to revise the "nonexistent youth" bill and re-introduce the bill in the assembly's September session.

Thanks to Dan Kanemitsu for extensive research.

Sources: Internet Watch, Jiji Press

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