National / Crime & Legal

Former Osaka nightclub owner cleared over 'no dancing' violation

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

A former owner of a nightclub in Osaka is set to be cleared of violating the adult entertainment business law after the Supreme Court rejected a prosecutor’s appeal against his not guilty verdict, it was learned Thursday.

Masatoshi Kanemitsu, 53, who used to own Noon in the city’s Kita Ward, was indicted for allegedly operating the venue in violation of the law, which bans men and women from dancing in pairs and in physical contact after midnight.

Supreme Court Judge Michiyoshi Kiuchi dismissed the prosecutor’s final appeal in a decision dated Tuesday, upholding previous rulings by the Osaka District Court and the Osaka High Court that found him not guilty.

The matter is finalized pending any last complaints by the prosecution.

In a second-court ruling meted out in January 2015, presiding Judge Masaaki Yoneyama ruled that the law only restricted dancing in pairs when it involved physical contact, and that there was no evidence that Noon was facilitating this.

“I’m happy about the long-awaited result. If I’m confirmed not guilty, it would promote further review of the adult entertainment business law which has been revised insufficiently,” Kanemitsu told the Asahi Shimbun in an article published on Thursday.

The revision of the adult entertainment business law passed last June, and a new regulation will take effect on June 23.

Under the new rules, clubs will no longer be considered adult entertainment facilities. Customers will be allowed to dance and drink alcohol after midnight, which has previously been restricted by the law.

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