The Jan. 26 Kyodo article “Adult manga artist prepares to fight City Hall” mentions that a creator of adult manga was preparing to argue with the Tokyo vice governor about the recent toughening of restrictions on the sale of comic books and animation containing “extreme depictions of sexual acts.” Adult manga artists say their freedom of expression is being infringed.
In Japanese bookstores, there are many kinds of books, and everyone is free to go anywhere in the store and choose a book. That’s the problem. Those stores have nude porno books and adult manga. Anybody, including youths, can go into the adult section and see them, which is very inappropriate. Not only in bookstores but also in most convenience stores in Japan, there is a book corner on the window side where there are a lot of adult books. These books also can be read by anyone.
As a student living in Japan, I feel ashamed when I see the covers of these materials because all of them depict women as sex tools. That depiction might be the intention, of course, but it has negative effects on others. I absolutely agree with the new restrictions (which took effect in December) for the sake of children’s sound growth, but there doesn’t have to be this clash between the government and creators of adult manga.
If stores became more careful of how they displayed and sold these books, such as by providing a special viewing room, publication of the books would not be a problem. The Japanese government should consider other ways of dealing with this issue other than by merely amending an ordinance.
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