On this time last year, when you enter a book shop or a convenience store, you can easily find an area full of manga with images of little girls, around 11-13 years old, nude or half nude. But now, this kind of manga almost disappeared in Tokyo. This is the result of an act that was signed on December 2010 – Bill 156 of The Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths. This act restricted manga/anime with sexually provocative depictions of fictional characters who appear to be under 18 years of age. In other words, it placed an end to the lolicon manga, which used to a part of Japanese manga that gained billions yen a year. Moreover, due to some details in the act (that will be explained later), other kind of manga will be affected also.
II. Overview of the Act
1. The Tokyo Government has the authority to control the access to information of minors by their cell phone through the filtering provided by cell phone service companies; and also the guardians have to supervise and administer internet usage of minors. 2. Any manga, animation, or pictures (but not including real life pictures or footage) that features either sexual or pseudo sexual acts that would be illegal in real life, or sexual or pseudo sexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be illegal, where such depictions and / or presentations unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate the activity in such a way that they would impede upon the formation of a healthy ability for judgement regarding sexuality of youth and there by be detrimental toward the healthy development of youth. 3. Publishers that have over 6 works deemed to be harmful material within a one year period by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government shall be subject to referral to their respective self-regulatory bodies for addressing the repeated offenses. Any further breaches within the following 6 months, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will have the authority to release the name of the company to the public, and the Governor will have the authority to issue opinions and evidence to support that opinion.
According to Juvenile Guide, a non-profit organization in Kyoto, half of the pornographic animation products in Japan each year, which means around 1000 titles, feature schoolgirl characters. In March 2008, UNICEF had a statement urging Japan to tighten the law of child pornography; however, this was not considered carefully by the government at that time.
In February, 2010, the Metropolitan government submitted a bill included a ban on sexualised depictions of "nonexistent youths" that appeared to be under the age of 18. This proposal was criticized by many manga artists as well as the publishing industry, and was rejected by Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in June. Shintarou Ishihara, the governor of Tokyo, also admitted that the bill's language needed revision.
However, the supporters for lolicon manga cannot be happy for a long time. In November 2010, a revised edition was presented, which did not use the vague term of “nonexistent youths”. Instead of that, the bill applied to all characters or material that is not necessary meant to be sexually stimulating. Another section of the revised bill would allow the government to directly regulate the above images if the depicted acts are also "considered to be excessively disrupting of social order" such as rape. However, the bill does not regulated mobile site or downloaded content as it only affected publications such as books and DVDs. And this time, the bill had passed a vote of Tokyo Assembly and has taken full effect from June, 2011.
IV. Impact on the society
According to UNICEF Japan and Russia are alone among G8 countries in not banning possession of child pornography. "Japan, a major player in information technology, is left uncontrolled, meaning children both here and around the world...