I’ve been rather busy as of late, so I have not been able to write more about the current bill submitted to the Japanese Diet that would radically threaten anime and manga if passed in its current form.
I have visited the Diet myself and had some conversations with members of the Diet. A very informative study session was held on June 13th within the House of Representatives office building attended by many members of the Diet. Numerous academics discussed some of the major failings of the current bill being considered, and as an added bonus, Svetlana Mintcheva of National Coalition Against Censorship, a US organizaiton, has spoken out regarding increasing censorship of manga and anime in Japan. To quote; “I would like to express my concern regarding the new amendment to the Japanese Child Pornography laws. Especially the section of the amendment which specifies that manga and anime will be investigated in relation to criminal investigations of child abuse… I believe that such a dispropotionate focus on the connection between cultural production and criminal behavior will have a chilling effect on the production of manga and anime, lead to self censorship, and eventually seriously negatively effect a form of cultural production that is popular around the world.”
Since the proponents of the bill often site pressures from overseas as a rationale behind banning sexual depiction in anime and manga featuring minors, international opposition to increasing censorship in Japan is critical. It helps undercut arguments for increasing censorship of manga and anime.
The good news: The current session of the Diet probably won’t get around to revising the Japanese Child Pornography Law.
The bad news: Members of the Diet have confirmed that certain members of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito Party absolutely refuse to exclude clauses that target anime and manga from the current bill. Furthermore, the Japanese Child Pornography Law revision bill currently being considered will not address the issue of junior idols. The issues regarding the commercial exploitation of real children through “junior idol” type publications will be completely untouched, while manga and anime will be singled out as a possible direct cause behind violations of the human rights of real children.
Your Party member Taro Yamada spoke about how this current bill could possibly coast through the Diet if it were not for the clauses that target anime and manga, but Yamada said proponents of the current bill claim the bill was actually a compromise. Supposedly not only was there a desire to ban sexual depictions of minors in manga and anime outright, but there is talk of censoring depictions of murder and suicide as well.
To recap, new bill implies creators and readers of anime and manga have more of an influence on exploitation of real child instead of publishers of junior idols magazines and parents that allow their children to be photographed in such a manner.
I find this hard to comprehend, but I can only relate what has been spoken to me.