Japan’s controversial Child Pornography Law is gathering even more opposition. This news comes as one half of the Fujiko Fujio duo responsible for the classic comedy manga ‘Doraemon’ issued a statement against the law.
Renowned manga artist Fujiko Fujio A, one half of the Fujiko Fujio duo who wrote classics like ‘Doraemon’ and ‘Mojako’, has said that the bill will “lead to a decline of Japan’s manga culture”. He also added that the bill will “take away the mangaka’s freedom to deploy creative activities under free thinking and freedom of expression”.
Fujiko Fujio A also adds that there would be a possibility that works would “not be interesting” and he fears that “only mangas that do not get the support from readers will be mass-produced”. He then calls for the withdrawal of the amendment.
The opposition to the amendments on the Child Pornography Law is mainly directed towards a provision of the bill that calls for an investigation into the relationship of anime, manga and CG images and Human Rights violations against children.
‘Doraemon’, which was co-written by Fujiko Fujio A, can be used as a good example for this issue. It is a regarded as a children’s anime/manga and is now considered a classic, however, there are several scenes within the anime that depicts Shizuka showering naked as well as being seen bathing with Doraemon and even Nobita.
The scenes of her bathing beg the question, would this be for the “purpose of satisfying the sexual curiosity” or would this scene just merely be a simple part of the story and would be a part of the writer’s freedom of expression? Should Shizuka, a fictional character be subject to the regulations set forth by the government? Well, what is certain is that most anime and manga fans would answer the latter question with this: “The world of 3D and 2d should never mix.”
Other opposition to the law’s amendment have also been announced. The council of animation directors of Japan (日本アニメーター・演出協会) has said that the bill has a “significantly chilling effect on freedom of expression”. The statement also provides a warning that the bill has a “high risk to cause the decline of the animation culture, such as anime and manga”.
The Movie and Theater Trade Union of Japan (映画演劇労働組合連合会) also issued a call against the amendments which calls on the video industry and its stakeholders. They mentioned that the bill will “exert constraints on a world based on computer, manga and anime images where the child victim does not actually exist”.
Meanwhile, Takaichi Sanae, chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) who co-sponsored the amendments said that they do not intend to regulate anime and manga immediately and that they would only be researching the relationships between anime/manga and child pornography. It should also be noted that according to Yahoo! Japan, there is also opposition against the amendments within the LDP.
The amendments for the Child Pornography Law are co-sponsored by the LDP, the New Komeito Party and the Japan Restoration Party. The amendment would have individuals caught with possessing sexual images of children below 18 years of age would be given a one million yen fine plus less than a year’s imprisonment. And as mentioned earlier, the bill has a provision that calls for an investigation into the relationship of anime, manga and CG images and Human Rights violations against children.
Earlier this year, Japan’s Cartoonist Association issued a statement against the proposed amendment. Other manga authors have also voiced their opposition to the bill like ‘Negima?!’ and ‘Love Hina‘ manga author Ken Akamatsu, ‘Mazinger Z‘ author Go Nagai and ‘Ashita no Joe‘ author Tetsuya Chiba.