The Cabinet on Tuesday signed off on a bill that would revise the adult entertainment business law to enable discos and nightclubs that offer dancing to operate past midnight as long as they meet interior lighting criteria.
The Abe administration hopes to see the bill become law during the current Diet session. It submitted a similar bill last October, but it was scrapped when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the Lower House in November.
The bill is a response to criticism that dance clubs are regulated in the same category as sex parlors.
The existing law defines a venue providing food and alcohol to customers and allowing them to dance as an adult entertainment establishment that requires a license to operate. In principle, all such venues are banned from operating between midnight and sunrise.
Under the proposed revision, a club would not be defined as an “adult entertainment” business if it has illumination of more than 10 lux — roughly corresponding to the level of lighting in a movie theater during intermission.
Such clubs would be able to operate around the clock under certain circumstances.
Police plan to measure the illumination in seating areas and allow a dimmer dance area, given that light settings vary on the dance floor.