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NEWS: 10 Manga Publishers to Boycott Tokyo Anime Fair (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo

10 manga publishers have announced on Friday that they will boycott next year's Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) due to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's revised bill to amend the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance. The boycotting publishers in the Comic 10-Shakai association include the previously revealed Kadokawa Shoten as well as Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kodansha, Akita Shoten, Hakusensha, Shonen Gahousha, Shinchosha, Futabasha, and LEED Publishing Co., Ltd.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government submitted a revised bill to amend the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance at the end of last month. The current ordinance already prevents the sale and renting of "harmful publications" — materials that are "sexually stimulating, encourages cruelty, and/or may compel suicide or criminal behavior" — to people under the age of 18. The proposed Bill 156 would require the industry to also self-regulate the sale and renting of "manga, anime, and other images (except for real-life photography)" that "unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate" certain sexual or pseudo sexual acts. Another section of the revised bill would allow the government to directly restrict the sale and renting of the above images if the depicted acts are also "considered to be excessively disrupting of social order" such as rape.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is part of TAF's executive committee, and Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara also serves as the chairperson of that committee. Ishihara was a leading advocate of the previous amendment bill that was rejected in June, and he has been pushing the current revised bill.

On November 29, three manga creator groups — the Japan Cartoonists Association, the Copyright Network for Comic Authors in the 21st Century, and Manga Japan — announced their opposition to the bill.

Thanks to Dan Kanemitsu for the news tip.

Source: Jiji Press

Update: More background information added. The Daily Cyzo website reports that the 10 publishers are Shueisha, Kadokawa Shoten, Shogakukan, Kodansha, Akita Shoten, Hakusensha, Shonen Gahousha, Shinchosha, Futabasha, and LEED Publishing Co., Ltd. The website also posted the letter that Shueisha's Tomio Ōta sent, urging the other member publishers of Comic 10-Shakai to pull out of TAF. Shueisha itself does not exhibit at TAF, but it will request anime production companies to pull materials based on its works.

Update 2: The Yomiuri Shimbun paper reports that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to make a handbook to specifically describe what content would be restricted, as well as a pamphlet for the general public. [Via Dan Kanemitsu] Bleach manga creator Tite Kubo expressed on his Twitter account his support for the publishers' decision to boycott. [Via Kyō mo Yarareyaku]

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