What constitutes obscenity in Japan? The term, both legally and morally, has different meanings in Japanese, just as it does in English. In a strictly legal sense, the Japanese word for obscenity, waisetsu, refers to something that maliciously stimulates sexual desire in an inappropriate and immoral manner.

There are plenty of widely available publications nationwide that would appear to fall within this definition: manga that depicts incest, gang rape and sexual abuse of children, as well as magazines and newspapers that publish illustrated stories or photo shoots on similar themes.

Some people might even be offended by the fact that sexual services not only appear to be legal, but they are advertised. You don't have to look too hard to find clasifieds advertising rates for fellatio or anal sex — both of which are legal — and yet actual intercourse is only legal in some situations. Heavens, child pornography is still technically legal, or at least until the grace period for possessing such material runs out in the middle of next year.