The Japanese Parliament approved on Wednesday a law punishable by a year in jail and fines of one million yen (about 7,218 euros) to possessing child pornography. However, the new ban will not affect the comics 'manga' or what so called 'hentai anime' in depicting children in situations of a sexual nature.
International pressure may have influenced the processing of a project to amend the existing law to punish prostitution and child pornography. With yesterday's decision, the House of Councillors gives the nod to a text that has already been approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month.
"For a long time there has been a misunderstanding of the rights of children. That's why it took so long time, "said Kiyohiko Toyama parliamentarian, member of the New Komeito and responsible for the presentation of the project, as reported by the British news agency Reuters.
However, the parliamentary Masatada Tsuchiya, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, said to support the law, although he has expressed his frustration explaining that "The law should include the manga and anime in which children suffer abuse sex. "
Freedom of expression
"Of course that freedom of expression is important. I love the "manga", but there are so depraved things not to defend "he argued, referring to the parliamentarians who have considered legislating comics and animations would be a limitation of freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Sadakazu Tanigaki has expressed his wish that the law makes a change in the culture of commodification of children. "We must fight against the tendency to see children as sexual objects and allow people to take advantage of this commercially sexually," he praised.
In contrast, the Magazine Publishers Association of Japan has warned that the legislation "could lead to a regression of freedom of expression and limit the artists and the publishing culture." "This can not be accepted," said the association, which represents more than 90 publishers.