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Tokyo Tightens Sexual Anime, Manga Restrictions For Minors

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Tokyo is implementing new restrictions on the sale of anime films and manga comics depicting sex acts such as rape and incest, the AFP is reporting.

A new bill, proposed by conservative governor Shintaro Ishihara, bans the sale of such products to anyone under the age of 18. Specifically, the bill wants to prohibit depictions of "sexual or pseudosexual acts that would be illegal in real life or sexual or pseudosexual acts between close relatives whose marriage would be illegal."

Anyone -- including publishers and local retailers -- caught breaking those rules now faces a fine of up to 300,000 yen (about $3,500), according to the BBC.
"It's the conscience of the Japanese," Ishihara told reporters after the vote. "You cannot possibly show such things to your own children." Earlier this year, Ishihara failed to restrict material that depicts apparent underage sex.

Though the legislation has been supported by many Japanese parents, the new guidelines have sparked the ire of some of the country's best-known comic publishers, some of whom are now threatening to boycott the Tokyo International Anime Fair next year in retaliation. "Artists of manga and anime have widely raised objections, while the entire publishing industry has pointed out problems," the group said after the vote. Condemning what it sees as limiting freedom of expression on fictional material, the industry group expressed its "strong anger that the revised bill was adopted."

Watch a report on the rape restrictions from Al Jazeera here: