Possible cancellation seen as an after-effect of the passage of the Tokyo “Youth” Ordinance.
The annual Tokyo Anime Fair (TAF) set on March 24-27 of next year is likely to be cancelled because of the the boycott declared and executed by 10 major manga publishers.
The boycott, declared by the Comic 10 Society (consist of the 10 major manga publishers, including Kadokawa and Shogakukan), comes in the wake of the passage of the amendments to the Youth Healthy Development Ordinance by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, which is seen by many mangaka and publishers to be a restriction to freedom of expression.
According to the Association of Japanese Animations (AJA), the organizer of the TAF, “We can’t avoid the drastic withdrawal of participants. To maintain the quality we have previously delivered would be exceedingly difficult.”
The AJA has also commented on the ordinance saying that the criteria to be followed, and the scope of the materials included in the amendments to the Youth Ordinance Bill were “vague and ambiguous”. The AJA also said that the amendments did not go through due process, despite the fact that the amendments deal with the anime & manga industry. Because according to them, they did not receive any notice or hearings on the matter. And has called the amendments, “extremely regretable.”
The AJA said that the industry boycott will make the event extremely difficult to maintain the event’s quality. Though the industry group is not in a position to decide whether to cancel the event, it described the current state of the event as “extremely unfeasible.”
As you may remember, Last December 15, the full Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly, lead by Governor Shintarou Ishihara, has passed the revised bill to amend the Youth Healthy Ordinance, which was informally known as Bill 156. The approved bill will go into full-effect on July 1, 2011, but self-regulation clauses will be effective April 1st.
Tokyo Metropolitan Ordinance Regarding the Healthy Development of Youths was passed in 1964 to promote the development of people under the age of 18, and restricting their access to materials that are considered as “harmful.” 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. And another portion of the revised bill would allow the government to directly regulate the images if the depicted acts are also “considered to be excessively disrupting of social order” such as rape and incest.
And the Tokyo Government will create a handbook for the publishing companies, and a pamphlet for the general public, on what are the contents that are restricted.
Last December 08, Shinichiro Inoue, the CEO of some companies under the Kadokawa Group has tweeted that “Kadokawa has decided it will not be participating in next year’s Tokyo Anime Fair.” And he also stated that because “the attitude of the Tokyo government to mangaka and the anime industry simply won’t do.” And two days later, nine more companies had announced that they will not be participating in next year’s TAF.
There are no official statement or press release, from the TAF’s website, saying if the event will be cancelled or going to push-through.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We now hope to bring you more updates as it happens.
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