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UN Group Urges Japan to Ban Explicit Games and Manga

| 28 Aug 2009 16:22
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In the wake of the RapeLay controversy, a United Nations group that aims to eliminate discrimination against women has urged Japanese lawmakers to put an end to games and cartoon that "promote sexual violence."

The United Nations' Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has issued a 13-page compilation of observations about "Japan's sixth periodic report on sexual discrimination" earlier this month. While the committee applauded increased prison sentences under Japan's revised laws against child prostitution and pornography, it expressed concern that Japanese fiction - specifically interactive fiction - was continuing down a disturbing road.

Specifically, the report mentions concern at the "normalization of sexual violence in the State party as reflected by the prevalence of pornographic video games and cartoons featuring rape, gang rape, stalking and the sexual molestation of women and girls." It's not hard to see in this echoes of the RapeLay controversy from earlier this year. The committee further observed that Japan's current child pornography laws don't apply to fictional depictions of children in erotic games, manga, and anime - no matter how explicit.

The committee concluded with a request to Japanese lawmakers "to ban the sale of video games or cartoons involving rape and sexual violence against women which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls." While the resolution might rebuke rape games, notably it contains no such condemnation for Platinum games.

And here I was thinking that today was going to be a slow news day. Oh, RapeLay. You're like the gift that keeps on giving to game journalists.

(Asahi Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun, via Anime News Network)

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