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Petition Against the Persecution of Japanese Erotic Arts

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The American feminist group "Equality Now" has started a campaign against the freedom of content in fictitious depictions in Japanese adult games, to include games produced only for sale on Japanese soil and games produced for offshore distribution as well [1]. The claim is that these fictitious depictions violate the terms of CEDAW, which require Japan "to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women." [2] Also involved is Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution, which guarantees equality under the law and states that there shall be no "discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin." [2] It is unclear, however, how in their claims they relate and conclude that the production of games fictitiously depicting hardcore genres of eroge, which may involve raping a woman or a man, actually violate these laws. It behooves us to remind the public and government that depiction and actual acts differ both vastly and deeply, similar to the ways thinking of something and actually doing it differ from each other. In addition, there was no attempt to show a correlation between the mentioned eroge genre "rape" and actual crime rates. We would like to point out the _fact_ that the rape crime rate of Japan is among the lowest worldwide. [3] And also, during the whole period, no evidence, scientific or otherwise, to support their claims has ever been presented. Therefore, the accusing organization has yet to form a solid connection between the content of these games and the laws they are invoking. However, even with such vague arguments, a provocative pressure has emerged in Japanese media, and now adult game producers are facing potential changes in laws in Japan regarding adult games, which would force them to exclude a large variety of eroge genres as taboo. This in turn is a clear violation of Freedom of Speech, which is declared under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19. Considering the recent history of events [1], it is possible to think that the underlying motivation of mentioned American feminist group is mere conjecture on the part of the group regarding the evolution of Japanese social structure over time, and its implications as a result of interaction with other countries, including the United States and the United Nations. The aforementioned group is well-known from their past activities to be against a large number of sexual fetishes as well as women being portrayed within pornography in general, regardless of a consensual agreement, and pushing instead for their choice of the ideal image of women they would like to see _everywhere_ [4], which would make this social interaction a threat in their eyes. As an extension to this, we believe that underlying motivation of the group is questionable, that is to say, this might be an attempt to _use_ United Nations' regulations and laws of Japan to bend future works by Japanese adult game manufacturers to their own will in order to impose their personal ethical/social values and expectations in Japan, which are not necessarily compatible with the views of the Japanese people. Their direct demand of the Japanese government to impose various bans and regulations within Japan, and failure to mention possible regulations of games for overseas supports these arguments, whereas their focus on the depiction of the abuse of women and failure to mention the depiction of the physical abuse of males while arriving at generalized conclusions in their advertised sample letter to government officials [2] leaves their sincerity of their concerns about the CEDAW term they invoke, which focuses on both sexes on equal footing, in question. Also, if this campaign, which is without a solid legal basis, spearheaded by Equality Now succeeds (considering their perspective and expectations as a group), it is likely that they will use this one event as a basis to induce further and more harsh regulations in Japan based extensively upon their will to shape the whole world in accordance with their personal views, and to inflict their personal justice by means of manipulating the executives via amorphous philosophical arguments and bending the actual laws in the near future. We finally would like to point out that many of the adult games in question are made only for distribution in Japan and are not permitted by their manufacturers to be sold in foreign countries. Therefore, a foreign organization such as Equality Now should not have the right to dictate the content of such materials, since the Japanese government, people and corporations have the right to manage their own sovereign affairs. In light of all these, we hereby request from Japanese government to cease caving to the pressure initiated by Equality Now without solid legal or moral foundations, and of the EOCS to stand on their principles and protect adult game producers in this matter.




References [1] See for instance http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2009/07/24/equality-now-demands-un-hentai-ban/ [2] http://www.equalitynow.org/english/actions/sampleletters/action_letter_3301_govt_en.doc [3] http://www.unodc.org/pdf/crime/eighthsurvey/8sv.pdf [4] See for instance http://www.equalitynow.org/english/campaigns/un/unhrc_reports/unhrc_japan_en.pdf and http://www.equalitynow.org/english/pressroom/press_releases/africaprotocol_20030714_en.html
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