Illegal Dancing

One short post before I talk about more big topics.
Recently, the Japanese police has been insisting that that laws written in 1948 regarding regulating establishments that allow customers to dance is still needed 60 years later.
I am not making this up.
They claim that laws must remain in the books to prevent “excessively hedonistic atmosphere between men and women to impact social morality and damage wholesome social environments and may affect the healty development of youth.” That’s a direct quote from the police in answering Asashi newspaper’s questioning.
http://www.asahi.com/national/update/1228/TKY201212270988.html
Sounds familiar? It’s the same logic that was used to increase regulation of manga and anime in Tokyo with Bill 156.
The Asahi newspaper specifically asks couldn’t most of the concerns regarding rowdy behavior of involving loose hips be regulated using other legal instruments (i.e. laws that regulate drugs, alcohol, curfews for youth, etc.) but the police insists “those are all legal instruments that can only be applied after [offenses] have occurred. There are too many establishements and we need some form of deterrence. Its just like a driving license. We just want people to fulfill certain conditions.”
Conditions that include not allowing dancing past midnight and such.

Here’s more information if you are interested:
http://www.timeout.jp/en/tokyo/feature/6268/Japan-no-dancing-please
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/ed20120805a1.html

This is another sad but clear example of how regulatory bodies work. Once you give police or other bodies certain powers, they will go out of their way to retain any authority that has been entrusted to them, regardless of whether the usefulness of such regulation is warrented.

This entry was posted in bureaucracy, harmful material, public morality and media. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Illegal Dancing

  1. Mike Creig says:

    Thanks for the update, Dan.

    Police are supposed to enforce laws, not write ’em! it’s ‘nanny state’ garbage like this that could turn fun-loving adults into pedophobes (sprog-haters)!

    It’s time that the whole of Japan’s police organizations can either come into the 21st century or be disbanded altogether and replaced by private security services!

    • dankanemitsu says:

      The problem with private regulatory bodies are that they can easily claim to be absolved by public policy considerations unless specifically told to do so. It would be much better to have a more robust civilian ombudsmanship regime.

  2. altereggo says:

    Ha, it sounds like you’re developing quite the libertarian streak. Contact with this kind of overbearing and arbitrary misrule can do that to folks. Although it shows no signs of sparking any kind of anti-authoritarian instinct among the general Japanese population…

    • dankanemitsu says:

      My intention was not to sound libertarian, but to point out that bureaucracies can suffer from “bureaucraticization” where a body will grow unwieldly and authority becomes less transparent. This phenomenon is very common among bodies that are given very vague goals and little oversight is maintained.

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