In Tokyo, a crackdown on sexual images of minors

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Feb 10, 2011, 11:43:49 AM2/10/11
(NY Times) - In a manga comic book that is well known here, “My
Wife Is an Elementary School Student,” a 24-year-old teacher
marries a 12-year-old girl as part of a top-secret social

There is no depiction of actual sex. But the teacher’s steamy
fantasies fill the comic’s pages in graphic detail, including a
little naked girl with sexually suggestive props.

Meanwhile, in a widely available new DVD, a real-life Japanese
model poses in a tiny white bikini. She makes popcorn in a maid’s
costume. She plays with a beach ball while being hosed down with

The model, Akari Iinuma, is 13 years old.

Japan, which has long been relatively tolerant of the open sale and
consumption of sexually oriented material, lately has developed a
brisk trade in works that in many other countries might be
considered child pornography. But now some public officials want to
place tighter restrictions on the provocative depictions of young
girls — referred to as “junior idols”— that are prevalent in
magazines, DVDs and Web videos.

One particularly big target is manga comic books that depict
pubescent girls in sexual acts. It a lucrative segment of the $5.5
billion industry for manga, illustrated books drawn in a
characteristic Japanese comic-book style.

A newly revised ordinance by Tokyo’s metropolitan government, which
restricts the sale of such material, has prompted a national debate
between its publishers and critics inside and outside Japan, who
say the fare exploits children and may even encourage pedophilia.
Other local and regional governments, including the Osaka
Prefecture, are considering similar restrictions...


Gilles Poitras

Feb 14, 2011, 11:34:51 AM2/14/11
The article reads almost like it is two articles cut up and pasted

One on the sexualized depiction of under 18 characters in manga.

Often this can be disturbing depending how it is handled in the
publication. There are manga where sexual situations are part of the
story and not just to titillation, Video Girl Ai is a well known example
among English speakers.

The other on Tokyo零 Harmful Books Regulation (Bill 156).

The bill does nothing to regulate explicit material that already cannot
be sold to minors. It is aimed at problematic content in illustrated
literature that minors can buy. In the US the equivalent would be if a
bill was passed that dealt with young adult novels which deal with
sexual situations.

The bill impact is likely to be felt the most in shojo and josei manga
as they often deal with problems in relationships young women have.

BTW the DVD of the 13 year old model would be legal in the US. There
were until recently, and may still be, highly suggestive magazines
devoted to under aged models in swimwear. Cody's Books in Berkeley had
trouble with their magazine distributor who would regularly include
several copies of one of these magazines in their delivery each month.
Cody's put them aside and returned them hen they got the next delivery.

Gilles Poitras
Profession: Librarian Obsession: Anime

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