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Japanese Diet Members Form Manga/Anime/Game Caucus

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Group aims to preserve materials related to anime, manga, games; introduce tax breaks for creators

Japanese Diet member Taro Yamada (pictured right) announced on Twitter that he and other politicians formed a caucus to discuss manga, anime and games. Yamada will serve as head of the group and promises to "work hard in order to protect the manga, anime, and games." According to the Tweet, the group is in discussions with Hideaki Anno (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Tetsuya Chiba (Ashita no Joe), Machiko Satonaka (Pia no Shouzou, Karyūdo no Seiza), and Kazuhiko Torishima (Shueisha senior managing director and editor). Hisanori Yoshida and Ken Akamatsu (Love Hina) also attended a meeting regarding the group on Tuesday, November 18.

Yamada calls the group "Manga/Anime/Games Giren" (Manga/Anime/Games Diet Group), or MANGA Giren for short (from Manga, ANime, GAmes).

In a blog post, Yamada illustrates the plan for the group going forward. Yamada says that he definitely hopes to protect the creators' freedom of expression, but that the group as a whole is currently focused on legislation, which he outlines in his post.

First, he is seeking to reintroduce a system similar to former Prime Minister Tarō Asō's proposed museum. Called the "Anime Palace," Asō's proposed cultural museum was conceived to help cultivate and preserve materials related to Japanese television and radio programming, music, anime, manga, and video games. However, the project was cancelled in 2009. Japan's National Diet Library and Agency for Cultural Affairs announced a similar system in 2011.

Second, Yamada proposes tax breaks for creators. The film industry in Japan offers tax relief for creators, but Yamada asserts that these tax breaks only affect a few people in higher income brackets, and reform is needed. Yamada states that, because it can take some time for creators to make a piece of work and earn back the money from production, he would like to allow postponement of taxes to keep creators from going into a deficit.

Ken Akamatsu confirmed over Twitter that Tuesday's meeting also covered topics such as how to cultivate talent, better the work environment, and combat piracy.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly passed a bill to amend the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance in 2010. The revised ordinance expanded the number of manga and anime that fall under "harmful publications," the legal category of works that must not be sold or rented to people under the age of 18. Erotic material was already restricted before the amendment, but the amended law also restricts the sales and renting of materials that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government considers "to be excessively disrupting of social order." However, the bill does not criminalize depictions in manga and anime.

Thanks to Dan Kanemitsu for the news tip

[Via Yara-On!]

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