Standing Up To Proposed Virtual Child Porn Legislation

The Tokyo Metropolitan government is moving forward on legislation that sets out to ban provocative "visual depictions" of characters who appear to be 18 years-old and younger. And some of Japan's most famous manga creators are fighting it.

Manga artists Go Nagai, Tetsuya Chiba and Machiko Satonaka appeared at the Tokyo Government Office on March 15 to show their opposition to the proposed legislation.

Nagai and Chiba are two of the most well-known living mangaka (manga creators) with Nagai responsible for magical girl manga Cutie Honey and robot manga Mazinger Z and Chiba for iconic boxing manga Ashita no Joe. Shojo manga creator Machiko Satonaka received a Lifetime Works and Cultural Activities award from the Japanese government. All three are big time, mainsteam Japanese mangaka, and their opposition to this proposed legislation shows just how unpopular it is with the manga industry.

Chiba told those gathered that the proposed legislation can be "freely" interpreted and would affect manga character "despite no living beings being hurt". These mangaka are standing up for their artistic freedom.

"We are looking at an example of how the popularity of culture will disappear by restricting this," Chiba added. "I would like you to decide how you will vote based on readers' feelings."

According to ANN, others that have signed a statement of opposition include Fujiko Fujio A (Doraemon), Takao Saito (Golgo 13) and famed shojo manga pioneer Moto Hagio, among many, many others. The list of those who has signed the statement reads like a who's who of the manga industry.

As Kotaku posted previously, the proposal, submitted on February 24, would amend the Metropolitan Tokyo youth welfare law on child pornography and limit the manner in which "nonexistent youths" are represented as well as clauses that call for the filtering of images of minors online and via mobile phone. The "visual depictions" are understood to encompass underage characters in manga, anime, computer games and video games — i.e., virtual characters.

The assembly will vote on the proposal on March 19.

ちばてつやさんらが反対アピール 都の児童性描写規制案に - 47NEWS(よんななニュース) [PicPic]