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Japan Cracks Down on Child Pornography – One Pixel at a Time March 16, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Arts, Film / TV, Politics, Sex / Relationships.
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The Tokyo Metropolitan government have announced they are proposing to extend the reach of existing child pornography laws to include a ban on provocative “visual depictions” of underage “nonexistent youths” – meaning, comic, videogame and cartoon characters.

The law in question is the Metropolitan Tokyo youth welfare law.  The amendment would mean that a provocative and/or sexual depiction of a character that appears to be eighteen years or younger would be banned.

However, the proposals have met strong opposition from some groups – most notably from manga creators.

Manga is a form of comic, and very popular in Japan.  Unlike the perception of comics in the West, manga covers many genres and appeals to a wide range of audiences, including women, children and the elderly.

Some high profile manga creators have stated that the amended law restricts their artistic freedom.  The proposed legislation can be “freely” interpreted and would affect manga characters “despite no living beings being hurt.”

Either way, the law would only apply in Metropolitan Tokyo, and not elsewhere in Japan.

What do you think, BWT readers?  Does child pornography extend to drawn depictions of virtual characters?  Do you think the proposal – if passed – would be a good thing, or a bad thing?  And how would someone be able to indentify if an image is underage?

BWT will keep you posted on any developments.

More here and here.

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