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Tokyo's Youth Ordinance Bill Approved by Committee (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo
Formal vote by full assembly on Wednesday

The general affairs committee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly has approved the government's revised bill to amend the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance on Monday afternoon. Bill 156 will then go before the full assembly for a vote on Wednesday.

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. Bill 156 would require the industry to also regulate "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 regulate the above images if the depicted acts are also "considered to be excessively disrupting of social order" such as rape.

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun

Update: The bill has a non-binding supplemental resolution urging newly designated harmful publications to be “carefully regulated, with the work's merits based on artistic, social, educational, and satirical criticism criteria to be taken into account in the evaluation process.” The government's Tokyo Youth Healthy Development Evaluation Panel is also urged to respect “the intent of the revision and take necessary steps, such as increasing the time involved in the evaluation process.”

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan wrote in his blog on Monday:

There is another topic I would like to talk about concerning [the strength of] the Japanese brand. Currently, there are concerns over the possibility that the Tokyo International Animation Fair could be cancelled due to controversies related to the healthy development of youth issues. Healthy development of youth is an important issue. At the same time, it is important that Japanese animation is broadcast to a global audience. I urge all parties involved to try to work toward preventing a situation where an international animation fair cannot be held within Tokyo.

Shueisha senior managing director and editor Kazuhiko Torishima said at the New Manga Creators Awards ceremony on Monday: “I want new manga authors to produce manga that would blow away [Tokyo Governor] Shintaro Ishihara.” Masahiko Ibaraki, the editor-in-chief of Shueisha's third editorial department, added to the new manga creators, "Don't let the chilling effect [of increased regulation] stop you from doing material you want to do. Jump will feature anything [we feel] that is exciting [to read].“

Thanks to Dan Kanemitsu for the translations.

Update 2: The Mobile Content Forum, an industry group that includes the social networking company DeNA and Nico Nico Douga's Dwango, announced its opposition to the bill on Monday. A group of female creators, including boys-love genre authors, also announced their opposition to the bill on Sunday.

[Via Manga Ronsoh (link 2), 47News, Jiji Press, ITmedia News, Temple Knights]

This article has a follow-up: Full Tokyo Assembly Passes Youth Ordinance Bill (2010-12-15 00:36)
follow-up of Tokyo's Youth Ordinance Bill Committee Vote on Monday (Updated)
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