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[Irond Bill 156] - The Japanese Anime, Manga, and Video Game Holocaust

B:LB:L Registered User regular
edited December 2010 in Debate and/or Discourse
WARNING: This is not a general anime or manga thread. Don't post about anime/manga that you like/dislike or any commentary other than on this bill and the topic of censorship.


Today, Bill 156 was passed by majority in the full session of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, which will negatively affect the Japanese anime, manga and gaming industries, and will also damage the already suffering Japanese economy. Self regulation will be mandated from April 1st and sales regulation enforcement will begin from July 1st,2011.
Details of the bill can be found in the following link:

http://dankanemitsu.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/bill-156s-total-scope/


The leading supporter of the bill is this guy:

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Shintarō Ishihara, the far-right Governor of Tokyo and known xenophobe, homophobe, sexist, Rape of Nanking denier, believer of children-eating mountains and author of works depicting children being raped. He had been re-elected three times.



What this bill does is grant a government council authority to label anime, manga and games (but not real life works) as "harmful to children" if they contain any sexual or "psuedo sexual" acts that would be illegal in real life. The original law, which was already in place, had the following definition:
Any material that may be detrimental toward the healthy development of youth because of their capacity to be sexually stimulating, encourages cruelty, and/or may compel suicide or criminal behavior.

By changing the definition, this gives the council carte blanche to deem anime, manga and games as "harmful to children" under a very vague and subjective definition. The possible effect of this is a de facto ban on certain anime, manga and games, as publishers are forced to self-censor and stifle potential creativity. Works that depict homosexuality could also be banned, as homosexual unions are not legal. There is even a provision that if a publisher fails to follow this ruling multiple times, the governor of Tokyo can publically reveal their name and ridicule them.

This law is not an actual ban. but the reason I call this a de facto ban is because being labelled "harmful to children" means your works can only be sold in adult-only stores. This of course affects profitability and publishers will be unlikely to support a creator's work if they fear the council may label it "harmful to children." This is the biggest issue of the bill, as you can imagine a scenario where you would have to go to an adult-only store to buy an M rated game and how it would affect publishers and their choice of supported products. A major problem is that this may only be a Tokyo bill, but all the biggest publishers are located in Tokyo.


The effect of this bill is already being felt. Some publishers have banned all use of school uniforms in their works, including college uniforms, which means no more works set in high school or college. Works that contain underage romance or incest could not be published, no matter the literary worth of the work or how seriously and maturely they deal with the subject matter. If the publishers of video games take this law to heart like some others, this could mean no more Persona (school outfits) or Harvest Moon (depiction of underage marriage).

Some publishers are already up in arms about this form of censorship. The Big 10 Manga publishers have already vowed to boycott the Tokyo International Anime Fair. The Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has expressed concerns about the Fair and Comiket being cancelled, stating that while the "healthy development of youth" is an important issue, it is also important for Japan to broadcast to the global audience, and that he urges all parties involved to work towards a solution to "prevent a situation where the international animation fair cannot be held within Tokyo".


Online, there have been proponents of this bill, stating that that the less loli stuff the better, but actually what this law encourages is more of those works. Moe-blob works actually do not violate this law, and as one of the steadiest revenue pullers more publishers would likely release more of these kinds of works than more creative works that could violate the law.

This means more generic moe, less Ninja Scroll, Berserk and Evangelion.


What are your thoughts on this bill? There is an obvious conflict of self-interest with the Governor of Tokyo, who hates anime and manga and would like his child-raping works to sell better than them. There is already a large write-in protest but the Governor has responded with what is basically "let them eat cake." The Prime Minister obviously has Japan's economy in mind when he opposes the bill, but we will see how much influence he has in overturning this. A possible effect are the publishers moving out of Tokyo, but that could be highly damaging and we won't know how many publishers would survive.

When is "think of the children" ever more important than rights such as freedom of speech?

B:L on
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Posts

  • AriviaArivia Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Wow even for you this is a lot of passive aggression Beel.

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  • samurai6966samurai6966 Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I see this going one of two ways. Either everyone censors their shit, or manga, anime, and video game persons will go to the extreme and make sure their stories are "adult material." This will not end well unless the Bill is killed, or the artist move to other countries like America.

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  • TurksonTurkson Near the mountains of ColoradoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Much hyperbole in here. Besides, the last good anime was Cowboy Bebop.

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  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    While debating this, keep in mind this is in Japan. Where very often, people sometimes do believe giving up freedom to "protect the <thing>" is the right thing to do.

    Individual rights and freedoms aren't as important in Japanese culture as they are in American/European culture.

    But this still looks like an assinine bill.

  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Greatest thread title ever? I think so!

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  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tehmarken wrote: »
    While debating this, keep in mind this is in Japan. Where very often, people sometimes do believe giving up freedom to "protect the <thing>" is the right thing to do.

    Individual rights and freedoms aren't as important in Japanese culture as they are in American/European culture.

    But this still looks like an assinine bill.
    While true, this doesn't affect live-action films or novels.

    And of course panty vending machines are still available.


    From what I hear, the majority is actually against this. It was just pushed through very quickly by certain political parties. The bill had been defeated before as well.

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  • vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Space Princess w/ Grenade Launcher Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'm waiting to see the economic impact of this massive thought police censorship.

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  • DrukDruk Registered User
    edited December 2010
    I'm waiting to see the economic impact of this massive thought police censorship.

    According to Wikipedia, Japan doesn't heavily enforce the porn laws they already have. So hopefully little.

  • vagrant_windsvagrant_winds Space Princess w/ Grenade Launcher Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    It also confuses me why they would specifically ban three mediums of entertainment by name, but leave out books or the other half of Japanese television/film.

    Why is it okay to have "harmful to children" content in one medium but not another equally prominent one?

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  • samurai6966samurai6966 Registered User
    edited December 2010
    Doesn't the Japanese have nudity on local channels after 6pm? Or something like that? Will they get rid of that too?

    Echo wrote: »
    Yeah, some times I just want to get my farm in shape without being bothered by green explosive dildos.
  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    It also confuses me why they would specifically ban three mediums of entertainment by name, but leave out books or the other half of Japanese television/film.

    Why is it okay to have "harmful to children" content in one medium but not another equally prominent one?

    Because it is not a very well thought-out bill.

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  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Being a resident of Japan, I've also learned there's a "say one thing, do another" attitude. As with the weak enforcement of most porn laws, this will probably be the same. Japanese people seem to make laws, mandates, and rules and then just keep doing whatever they think is best and common sense.

    And I'm not sure I've ever seen nudity on TV. But there's also not many programs where nudity could happen. But when movies are on TV, they tend to be completey uncut and uncensored.

  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Ryadic wrote: »
    Greatest thread title ever? I think so!

    Seconded.

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  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tehmarken wrote: »
    Being a resident of Japan, I've also learned there's a "say one thing, do another" attitude. As with the weak enforcement of most porn laws, this will probably be the same. Japanese people seem to make laws, mandates, and rules and then just keep doing whatever they think is best and common sense.

    And I'm not sure I've ever seen nudity on TV. But there's also not many programs where nudity could happen. But when movies are on TV, they tend to be completey uncut and uncensored.

    Yeah, I'm curious to see how this will actually affect things, since political machinations can still take place even if this bill is in. It's horrible legislation in that it is too vague (and oddly at the same time specific, with regards to the media covered) but that also allows quite a bit of room for dealing between enforcers and publishers.

    I wouldn't want to be a publisher/mangaka working under this though.

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  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Infidel wrote: »
    tehmarken wrote: »
    Being a resident of Japan, I've also learned there's a "say one thing, do another" attitude. As with the weak enforcement of most porn laws, this will probably be the same. Japanese people seem to make laws, mandates, and rules and then just keep doing whatever they think is best and common sense.

    And I'm not sure I've ever seen nudity on TV. But there's also not many programs where nudity could happen. But when movies are on TV, they tend to be completey uncut and uncensored.

    Yeah, I'm curious to see how this will actually affect things, since political machinations can still take place even if this bill is in. It's horrible legislation in that it is too vague (and oddly at the same time specific, with regards to the media covered) but that also allows quite a bit of room for dealing between enforcers and publishers.

    I wouldn't want to be a publisher/mangaka working under this though.
    Even if nothing actually happens with this law, there's a LOT of lost confidence in Tokyo's government from these publishers.

    I would figure they'd start looking at their options to move out.

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  • SpectrumSpectrum Super High-School Level ??? Hope's Peak AcademyRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    From some mangaka twitters I was perusing, it looks like even before the bill officially passed, some were getting told by their publishers they were up the shit creek without a paddle. For a mangaka of like a high school romcom or something, being told "sorry, you can't have school uniforms in your manga any more" is a death sentence.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I don't see anything about school uniforms in here?
    Now the criteria will be expanded to include: “Any manga, animation, or pictures (but not including real life pictures or footage) that features either sexual or pseudo sexual acts that would be illegal in real life, or sexual or pseudo sexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be illegal*, where such depictions and / or presentations unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate the activity.”

    So are we alleging that without this, no good manga could be written?

    Glorification of, or exaggerated illegal sex acts?

    God damnit Japan. Maybe I'm misunderstanding what that means over there, but, as an outsider, it seems pretty clearly pointed at rape fantasy/incest/loli shit.
    B:L wrote:
    Works that depict homosexuality could also be banned, as homosexual unions are not legal.
    See bold. Homosexuality isn't illegal, is it? If not, then unless the gay marriage is between brothers, I don't see that being an issue.

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  • SpectrumSpectrum Super High-School Level ??? Hope's Peak AcademyRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    http://twitter.com/shoko_takaku/status/13827585075052544
    BL mangaka Shouko Takaku complains that her (unidentified, but “unfortunately not small”) publisher told her to stop using school trappings in her manga:
    I was bluntly told the other day “because of the Tokyo ordinance, please stop using high school students [in your manga].” Depending on the label it seems you can’t even draw school uniforms…”

    [...]

    Yes, I was really shocked – I was astonished and responded “Really? Really? It’s come to that now already?”

    She comments that she expects the industry’s recent decline will only be accelerated by the introduction of the ban.
    Courtesy of Sankaku Complex, which I won't link for various reasons.

  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Homosexual marriage is still illegal in Japan. Therefore because of the wording of the bill, any gay or lesbian manga is in trouble.

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I don't support the bill (or oppose it, I'm not Japanese), but you know there are some really violent crimes and a lot of suicide in Japan. That might be something to look at.

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tehmarken wrote: »
    Homosexual marriage is still illegal in Japan. Therefore because of the wording of the bill, any gay or lesbian manga is in trouble.

    The bill states:
    sexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be illegal*

    The marriage (illegal) isn't a sexual act, and the sexual act (gay sex) isn't illegal. So unless they are 'closely related,' they aren't being regulated under this bill.

    Is this not the actual bill I'm quoting here? I'm using the same quotes as the link in the OP.

    [Edit] Shit, on a third read I'm not sure it is even talking about marriage. "Closely related" is a vague term; I'm pretty sure it only brings up the fact that their "marriage would be illegal" as a specific measure of how closely related they mean.

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  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I don't support the bill (or oppose it, I'm not Japanese), but you know there are some really violent crimes and a lot of suicide in Japan. That might be something to look at.

    There's a few other factors on those that are kind of specifically Japanese. For one, there's a generally poor mental health system. A lot of things never get diagnosed, often because of the family being ashamed of admitting somebody has a mental illness or the person themself being ashamed. Something like just basic chemical depression is viewed as the same thing as being mentally retarded.
    Also a generally high stress lifestyle (Japanese people get lowest amount of sleep in the world, and among the fewest vacation days), and that suicide is romanticized culturally.

    But that's a different discussion.

  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Does this bill prohibit what can be uploaded on the internet? How about sold on the internet?

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  • deadonthestreetdeadonthestreet Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    No one city, no matter how big it is, should be able to legislate for an entire country. It's pretty absurd when you think about it like that.

  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Here's what I got from another article (http://www.filmbiz.asia/news/tokyo-restricts-distribution-of-harmful-anime):
    "any material that may be detrimental toward the healthy development of youth because of their capacity to be sexually stimulating, that may encourage cruelty, and/or may compel suicide or criminal behaviour."
    The new definition passed in yesterday's bill explicity states that "any manga, animation or pictures (but not including photography or film footage) that features either sexual or pseudo-sexual acts that would be illegal in real life, or sexual or pseudo-sexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be deemed illegal, where such depictions and/or presentations unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate the activity."

    Hard to say exactly. Can't even be sure how accurate the translation is. It may even only be in regard to things that minors can access, and properly labeled "adult only" stuff might be ok.

  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2010
  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tehmarken wrote: »
    Hard to say exactly. Can't even be sure how accurate the translation is. It may even only be in regard to things that minors can access, and properly labeled "adult only" stuff might be ok.
    Here's an excellent write-up of the potential consequences:
    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/106174-Child-Safety-Bill-Could-Cripple-Anime-Industry

    This bill actually doesn't affect anything already labelled "adult only".

    As you can tell by some confusion on what it means, the law is vague enough that they can apply it against homosexual acts if they please, and given that the lead supporter of the bill is a homophobe, it is very likely they'll do so.

    This law wouldn't be so damaging if Tokyo wasn't the base of operations of so many publishers.

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  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Reminds me of what happened to comics back in the Fifties. The CCA put comics in the permenant neardeath state their in now.

    On the other hand, we then got Ellis and Moore.






    I'll take that deal.

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  • PixelMonkeyPixelMonkey Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    What is this bullshit!

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  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Reminds me of what happened to comics back in the Fifties. The CCA put comics in the permenant neardeath state their in now.

    On the other hand, we then got Ellis and Moore.






    I'll take that deal.
    Well the difference is that anime has always been edgy. They take risks that animation over here rarely do, delving sometimes into very dark subject matter.

    This bill is to kill off their Ellis's and Moore's in favor of more Jim Davis.

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  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    You really have never read early comics or seen early cartoons, have you? The ones where Superman is the defender of social justice and Batman uses a gun, or the wartime propaganda cartoons like Lifestyle of Death? Comics and Cartoons were dark as shit, got light for two decades, and then the Underground Comix scene came about and the mediums returned to it's old levels.

    Raoul Duke wrote:
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    I have a tumblr.
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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    B:L wrote: »
    As you can tell by some confusion on what it means, the law is vague enough that they can apply it against homosexual acts if they please, and given that the lead supporter of the bill is a homophobe, it is very likely they'll do so.

    Seriously, guy: cite that shit. I've read all the quotes you've provided and I'm not seeing any language that can be twisted to encompass homosexuality; whether gay marriage is illegal or not. Mass confusion doesn't mean the law can be applied to label homosexuality as AO. It means, simply, that the masses are confused. The lawyers aren't going to be.

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  • KhaczorKhaczor Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    B:L wrote: »
    As you can tell by some confusion on what it means, the law is vague enough that they can apply it against homosexual acts if they please, and given that the lead supporter of the bill is a homophobe, it is very likely they'll do so.

    Seriously, guy: cite that shit. I've read all the quotes you've provided and I'm not seeing any language that can be twisted to encompass homosexuality; whether gay marriage is illegal or not. Mass confusion doesn't mean the law can be applied to label homosexuality as AO. It means, simply, that the masses are confused. The lawyers aren't going to be.

    It says in the bill anything that is “harmful to the development of children”. I'm sure that is vague enough to encompass homosexuality.

  • CokebotleCokebotle 穴掘りの Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    And isn't it decided by a government-created group? Which would basically mean that the governor of Tokyo would pick who gets to decide what is "harmful" and what isn't?

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Khaczor wrote: »
    B:L wrote: »
    As you can tell by some confusion on what it means, the law is vague enough that they can apply it against homosexual acts if they please, and given that the lead supporter of the bill is a homophobe, it is very likely they'll do so.

    Seriously, guy: cite that shit. I've read all the quotes you've provided and I'm not seeing any language that can be twisted to encompass homosexuality; whether gay marriage is illegal or not. Mass confusion doesn't mean the law can be applied to label homosexuality as AO. It means, simply, that the masses are confused. The lawyers aren't going to be.

    It says in the bill anything that is “harmful to the development of children”. I'm sure that is vague enough to encompass homosexuality.

    By that standard it could encompass too much candy.

    You're quoting the beginning of a sentence, which actually later contains specific qualifiers, from the preexisting law. If this is your concern:
    "any material that may be detrimental toward the healthy development of youth because of their capacity to be sexually stimulating, that may encourage cruelty, and/or may compel suicide or criminal behaviour."

    The gay-themed comics would already be AO.

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  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Khaczor wrote: »
    B:L wrote: »
    As you can tell by some confusion on what it means, the law is vague enough that they can apply it against homosexual acts if they please, and given that the lead supporter of the bill is a homophobe, it is very likely they'll do so.

    Seriously, guy: cite that shit. I've read all the quotes you've provided and I'm not seeing any language that can be twisted to encompass homosexuality; whether gay marriage is illegal or not. Mass confusion doesn't mean the law can be applied to label homosexuality as AO. It means, simply, that the masses are confused. The lawyers aren't going to be.

    It says in the bill anything that is “harmful to the development of children”. I'm sure that is vague enough to encompass homosexuality.
    Yes, some publishers have looked at that line and the qualifiers of illegal marriage, and have already started to refuse works featuring homosexual relations.

    A BL mangaka, Kanako Meiji, reports that her publisher is considering canceling a reprint of her BL works.


    Even if lawyers think it might be ok, it's too big of a risk for some publishers to give it the go ahead in this kind of environment. The older law's range was "too", this new law's range is "any and all".

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Man, B:L, could you write an OP that is even more biased? I'm against such censorship, but you've really written the most biased OP I've ever seen. Ever.

    Seeing the word "anime" on Debate and Discourse got my hopes up that we could finally have an anime thread again, but I guess I'll never get to talk about anime to anyone worth conversing with ever again.

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  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    The OP was a parody of the fanboy reaction, right Mr. Hexmage?

    Right?

    Right!?

    Raoul Duke wrote:
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

    I have a tumblr.
    Check it out.
  • JouleJoule Registered User
    edited December 2010
    B:L wrote: »
    As you can tell by some confusion on what it means, the law is vague enough that they can apply it against homosexual acts if they please, and given that the lead supporter of the bill is a homophobe, it is very likely they'll do so.

    Seriously, guy: cite that shit. I've read all the quotes you've provided and I'm not seeing any language that can be twisted to encompass homosexuality; whether gay marriage is illegal or not. Mass confusion doesn't mean the law can be applied to label homosexuality as AO. It means, simply, that the masses are confused. The lawyers aren't going to be.

    You're right that the new bill 156 doesn't outright list homosexual relations as part of the illegal acts and thus suggests works involving such (unless between close relatives) should be in the clear.

    What does affect those titles is the existing harmful material classification law if creatively used.
    The gay-themed comics would already be AO.

    I wouldn't say that is necessarily true.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    adults-only means 16 and up in Japan, right? I doubt that 15 year olds really buy a lot of manga/anime anyway. Also, it seems like kids could evade this law by going to manga cafes instead.

This discussion has been closed.