image

Japan

Japan police seize 579,000 uncensored porn DVDs in raids. Meanwhile, on the internet …

‘Who the heck watches porn on DVDs any more? Come on, there’s tonnes of uncensored porn on the net’

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 1:43pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 9:33pm

Police in Tokyo have seized a record number of illegal uncensored pornographic DVDs after a series of raids across the Kabukicho red-light district of the city. The public, however, seems distinctly unimpressed.

Seventeen men have been arrested in the raids, in which 579,000 uncensored films were recovered from five adult shops and nearby storage facilities. Investigators told the Nikkan Sports newspaper that each store was earning around 12 million yen (US$107,000) a month in under-the-counter sales of movies that contravene Japan’s strict laws on what is acceptable pornographic viewing.

By law, performers’ genitalia and pubic hair must be obscured with computer-generated pixels before an adult movie can be sold in Japan. Despite vast amounts of free, unedited pornography available on the internet, explicit DVDs still command a premium here.

While authorities were quick to highlight the results of their campaign, internet chat sites have seen a steady stream of bewilderment over what most see as an archaic law that has long been by rendered irrelevant by technology.

One poster on the RocketNews24 website commented “Japan’s Tokyo vice police squad has nothing better to do than going after porn DVDs,” which generated the reply: “Somebody tell them about the internet.”

A poster on the Japan Today news site asked: “Who the heck watches porn on DVDs any more? Come on, there’s tonnes of uncensored porn on the net.”

Others were swift to point out the obvious double standards at play in Japanese laws that are designed to preserve public morals.

“It’s such an odd restriction, the mosaic thing,” one poster stated. “Perhaps some time spent to make sure people in the industry are there voluntarily and in good mental and physical health would be a better use of time.

“Personally, I think the very public display of suggestive magazines and ‘manga’ in everyday [convenience stores] is more of an issue.”

Others agreed, with one condemning the laws as “absolutely moronic”.

“[Magazines featuring] young, underage girls in skimpy bikinis being sold in the [convenience store] whether you want to see it or not – no problem! But don’t you dare show the genitalia!”

Another reader on the Japan Today site added: “Can show rape, but no pubic hair!”

Japan’s censorship laws have been in the spotlight in recent years, particularly those that apply to anime and manga.

The government has attempted to introduce legislation that outlaws pictures of children engaged in sexual situations or forced sexual encounters.

Artists who draw such images have fought back, however, on the grounds that the authorities are infringing on their rights to artistic expression and claiming that as the children in the images are only pictures, there can be no victims.