The current ordinance already prevents the sale and renting of “harmful publications” — materials that are “sexually stimulating, encourages cruelty, and/or may compel suicide or criminal behavior” to people under the age of 18. Bill 156 would require the industry to also regulate “manga, anime, and other images (except for real-life photography)” that “unjustifiably glorify or exaggerate” certain sexual or pseudo sexual acts. 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.
The assembly also approved a non-binding supplemental resolution urging newly designated harmful publications to be carefully regulated, with the work’s merits based on artistic, social, and other criteria to be taken into account in the evaluation process.
The voluntary self-regulation clauses will go into effect on April 1 of next year, and the restrictions on sales and renting will go into effect on July 1.