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Japan Might Censor Manga & Anime With Inappropriate Depiction Of Children Including Lolis & Shotas

Lolly Surprized

In a move to curb child exploitation, Japanese politician Masako Okawara has submitted a petition in the 213th Diet session calling for stricter regulations on content, including manga and anime, that feature inappropriate depictions of characters resembling children.

This initiative comes amid growing concerns over the rising number of cases of exploitative material involving minors in popular media and the inadequacies of current laws to protect them.

Recent statistics have revealed that the number of arrests for child pornography offenses has not improved despite revisions to the Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Prohibition Law. The recent high profile case of Your Name producer Koichiro Ito is an example.

Okawara’s petition is urging the government to amend the current laws, including the Prevention of Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Act, based on the 2019 recommendation from the UN Committee by criminalizing the “production, distribution, provision, sale, access, viewing and possession of images and depictions of children, or persons who primarily appear to be children, engaging in explicit sexual acts, or depictions of sexual parts of a child’s body for sexual purposes“.

Currently, the law does not regulate the images portraying sexual content in manga or anime—specifically including lolicon (depictions of young-looking female characters) and shotacon (depictions of young-looking male characters).

However, the petition particularly focuses on the aspect of imagery that is used to make characters appear as children, which might prompt the government to take a look at it once more.

The debate surrounding “loli” & “shota” characters is intense, with critics arguing that such depictions contribute to a harmful culture that normalizes the sexualization of minors.

Supporters within the anime and manga industry argue that these characters are fictional and their regulation would infringe on artistic freedom and expression​​.

This was evident in 2014 when a similar revision to the Child Pornography law was proposed but faced significant opposition from the industry, which claimed it would severely limit creative freedom.

Despite the precedent, Japan might consider regulating content in anime and manga owing to the alarming statistics surrounding the issue. Okawara’s petition has garnered more than 300 signatures.

As of 2022, 86% of victims were girls, with boys making up 14%, a trend that is on the rise. Even in cases where victims were identified, the number is the second highest since the pre-COVID-19 era.

When including cases determined by age assessments conducted by medical professionals, the actual number of victims is even higher.

The neglect of the sexual commodification of children through their images perpetuates harmful values in society and gravely infringes on children’s rights to live and grow up safely and securely,” Okawara stated.

Okawara emphasized the need for comprehensive measures to curb the spread of these exploitative practices.

The unchecked sexualization of children in media perpetuates damaging societal norms and poses a serious threat to children’s safety and well-being,” she added.

As the Prevention of Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Act approaches its 25th anniversary, Okawara stressed the importance of further amending relevant laws, including the Penal Code, Child Welfare Law, and Child Abuse Prevention Law.

By incorporating the voices of survivors of sexual abuse and exploitation, Okawara aims to strengthen enforcement measures to protect children from harm.

Source: The House Of Representatives Japan

22 Comments
  • This Okawara person literally said; “I’m urging everyone to sign this petition to protect and save the rights of IMAGINARY and FICTIONAL CARTOON CHARACTERS of sexualization.”

    • you missed the point. it’s not to protect fictional characters, but because the sexualisation of minors is so commonplace in fiction, it normalises views on the sexualisation of REAL minors because people become so adjusted to fictitious characters being seen as completely, 100% okay to be sexualised despite laws against it in real life. it’s a domino effect. people love to say “but it’s just fiction”, but in reality it creates a subconscious shift in opinion regardless of denial in a lot of cases. you cannot say the sexualisation of minors is completely wrong and then turn around to say the sexualisation of minors *but in fiction* is okay. a minor is a minor. a child is a child.

      • It has proven to be an incredibly common pattern that those that try to restrict fiction are projecting.

        France tried to make these same arguments and not long after gave us the movie Cuties.

        Sweden illegalizes fiction content and yet remains at the top of the charts for child sex crimes.

        Danish studies have even disproven any link between child sex crimes and cartoons anyway in the same way studies have proven video games do not lead to violence.

        The United Nations has tried repeatedly to get manga and anime banned while they were extorting women and children for sexual favors just to get food and water.

        Compare these to Japan whom has ten times the population of Sweden, yet it is one of the safest countries in the world for kids to walk to and from school on their own unsupervised.

        Statistics and basic pattern recognition would suggest your claims are the complete opposite. That allowing loli and shota leads to LESS pedophilic activity which is a GOOD thing.

        Basic psychology dictates loli and shota are not pedophilic anyway. Cartoons and works of fiction fall under schediaphilia, a completely seperate paraphilia. A schediaphile is uninterested in real kids the same way a pedophile is uninterested in adult partners. Not to mention basic psychology also dictates any inability to discern fiction from reality is a symptom of demetia or schizophrenia.

        So it is safe to assume people trying to conflate the two are not only experimentally unsound but also just flat-out crazy.

      • There is literally nothing true about any of this. People know the difference between fiction and reality and the sexualization of fictional ‘minors’ does not in any way, shape, or form ‘normalize’ the sexualization of actual minors. There has been so little evidence to justify or quantify these claims that it has to keep being asked “where’s the proof?”. You keep asserting secondary effects, but the reason why people never consider it is because there are none. It’s the same argument against violent media just re-labeled towards a different issue. Child abuse is a rightful crime, kids can’t consent, etc. but none of that has anything to do with attitudes or viewpoints shaped by fiction.

        Well I’ll keep asking and so will the Japanese government. Nobody deserves to be put in jail over a fictional drawing, regardless of what it depicts.

      • >because the sexualisation of minors is so commonplace in fiction, it normalises views on the sexualisation of REAL minors

        That’s one of the biggest jumps in logic I’ve seen in recent times. Just because something is commonplace in fiction doesn’t mean real-life views around the topic are influenced. Tons of problematic imagery or themes are romanticized in fiction, but people are still sane. Take for example guns and gun violence.

        >a minor is a minor. a child is a child.

        Completely unhinged. A drawing is a drawing, fiction is fiction.

      • This is the same thing as saying violence in video games cause people to be violent, or before how heavy metal music like marilyn manson with violent lyrics did the same, and guess what was before that, books and same arguments. All of it was BS and showed no links. It was actually the opposite in many video game studies that i remember reading.

        fiction is fiction, reality is reality stop trying to blend the two. Its always funny to me that the ones that can’t tell the difference are the ones pushing artistic censorship like this.

    • U missed the entire point of this petition if u boil it down to protect fiction character rights. Its like the gun in video games debate in the western world. A well adjusted person in good mental health wont act on violent behavior in a video game while an unwell person has a chance to. Same argument here a mental health issue. Chances of this petition going through has low chance anyway since it would large push back from the industry.

  • So Masako Ōkawara wants to censor a majority of the most succesful anime? This would be damaging for the industry going forward, and westerners watch anime on illegal sites anyway. I’m pretty sure studies show that censorship of sexual media worsens SA rates as well. No wonder they’re part of a liberal political party…

    • LMAO views about this stuff aside, I seriously wish Okawara good luck in trying to get this law to pass because from what I read on wikipedia, the party she is affiliated to is the opposing party, they dont even hold 25% of the seats in the diet. If this law manages to pass it would be a miracle to say the least. Now, I am not that knowledgeable about this stuff but if Canadian and US politics taught me anything, the chances of this thing being reality is about… 0%. Plus I have not seen this in any other news outlet so y’all here and on reddit should really not worry, regardless of if you support or oppose this.

  • The only difference is that while guns serve a purpose in fictional media, the outward sexualization of children only exist for titillating people who are into it. Compare Lolita where you are supposed to feel disgust vs something like Boko no Pico. Plenty of people who have predated on kids have been found with this stuff in their homes. It’s all about intent and if your intent is to write or make something with kids in it that is supposed to be sexual fanservice, you are the problem.

    • What about the people who do predate on kids that don’t consume this? Or the people who consume this but don’t predate on actual kids? Or the people who commit acts of violence and also happen to consume violent media?

      This argument that it ‘normalizes’ or constitutes some sort of harmful behavior has been investigated and has yet to be proven. Many studies show it actually reduces abuse, but that won’t shut up people who repeatedly screech the opposite because they don’t understand social psychology or paraphilias and how they relate to criminal acts.

    • Cartoons are not children and you are actively diminishing the act of sexual exploitation of children by even thinking to compare the two. Any bans would literally also fucking ban Lolita btw. You are more than the problem and you are morally repugnant for pedojacketing people and watering down abuse.

  • People are creating fictional material into real life children, dehumanizing real life children in the process and mocking them. They’re turning the word pedophilia into a joke by making it and children into a cartoon.

    Not to mention, people think this is going to protect real life children, when pedophilic people will just go out to hunt for real children, if they are truly a pedophile. It does nothing to protect children from being harmed.

    If an actual pedophile was using little Sakura to keep himself from trouble and you just took away his material where there is something that isn’t human but he or she felt safe with it and like it enough to not go after a child in real life, you just took that away. Where are is that person going to go now that he or she doesn’t have an outlet?

    They’re going to go to real life where there are real children to get their fix because cartoons won’t save them anymore. These fictional beings are now gone, now they’re no longer being held in a fantasy/dream, if they were a pedophile and also a lolicon or shotacon and is using them, even though they’re not real children, as a tool to keep them from doing harm.

    Are you all thinking this through?

  • Keep an eye on this, because when they manage to outlaw loli/shota after pressure from western countries and the Internet Watch Foundation, barely legal teen porn will be the next on the list, and after that, bestiality porn.

    In that regard, these politicians have their priorities somewhat misaligned, because if I were them I would go after the barely legal teen porn first, mainly because we would be talking about real teenagers, and given that 18-19 year olds are still considered children by children’s charities , increasingly more societies and other organizations, so there are much stronger grounds for banning that rather than banning drawings and fictional material that often have a very stylized representations of characters who are children and adolescents, or who appear physically similar to them.

    If they want to get rid off lolicon/shotacon, they have to completely outlaw real teen porn first, to make it easier for them, just i say.

  • So one politician submitting a petition means “Japan might censor anime and manga”??

    What a clickbait load of crap lol.

    And these are fictional characters. Set the age of the character to 5,000 and instantly you have defeated the law. This is so dumb.

    • Don’t be so quick to dismiss this. The fact that this is even being discussed and was submitted as a petition us concerning. Japan’s new Prime Minister has already begged Western companies for DEI and ESG funds in exchange for making cultural changes to appease them. This is getting dangerous and if the world doesn’t shift course soon, not only will loli and shota be banned (yes, in Japan, too), but so will everything else that’s considered offensive or degenerate.

  • Japan should just realise that banning both child prostitution and child porn didn’t work and throw those laws in the trash where they belong. Both child porn and prostitution should be re-instated.

      • He has a point tho, especially on the CP side, as there isn’t even conclusive evidence that actual CP contributes to the rape of children (and more and more studies suggest the contrary) much less loli/shota,

        Throwing people who are literally addicted to masturbation in jail is a waste of money and space, there are much more dangerous people to throw there than people who jerk off with xxx material, just i say.

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