So if 86.5% of Japanese do not like lolicons…

…what does that mean about the remaining 13.5%? OK, that’s unfair. The question that was actually asked, according to Anime News Network, was this:

The Japanese government’s Cabinet Office issued on October 25 the results of its Special Opinion Poll on Harmful Materials, in which 86.5% of those who responded said that manga and art should be subject to regulation for child pornography, if they had to decide. 90.9% said that “harmful materials” on the Internet should be regulated, if they had to decide. The current child pornography laws in Japan do not regulate manga and art that depict children who are not real, or “virtual child pornography.”

The ANN link has a more detailed breakdown of the question and responses.

Mike’s take: I’m sorry…but over here, even the ACLU declines to defend child porn. My own generally free-speech-or-else political beliefs also end here. I can see no social, legal, or constitutional benefit in allowing even virtual child porn (and I mean actual porn, not anything that’s moe and risque–HUGE difference, and I think most any reasonable person can tell what that difference is) to be left wholly unregulated. This is the flip side of the argument Madarame presents in his defense of being turned on by anime in Genshiken–if indeed mere drawings can excite the imagination to the degree that he rightfully acknowledges, then we have to acknowledge too that whatever social or moral harm that “real” child porn causes applies to “virtual” ones too, since the imaginative act is fundamentally the same in each case. This is true even if the “real” version might be a little easier to imagine oneself within.

In the long run though, no amount of government regulation can address the real issue, which is why overt sexualization of child-like characters in the fringes of anime and manga is as prevalent as it is. (I am, again, not talking about moe in general, though Moetan and that duck is another thing…) It’s the one aspect of otaku culture that I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of, and so long as it is prominent will certainly doom the full acceptance of anime and manga outside of Japan. I suppose it’s nice to know that most Japanese feel similarly.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

8 thoughts on “So if 86.5% of Japanese do not like lolicons…

  1. Not going to go anywhere. There’s certainly a lot of will to regulate but laws like this fails legal muster. There are SO many ways to attack these legislations that they either have to be written so broadly that they encroach upon normal pornography and maybe even regular literature(such a Romeo and Juliet) OR they are so narrowly interpreted that getting around is so easy it basically becomes a farce(such as the character claiming to be 200 years old, not human etc).

    US has no shortage of real hardcore social conservative type yet such legislation failed here, what chance do you think the Japanese would have with their legislation?

  2. Cartoon child porn doesn’t victimize a real child.

    “I can see no social, legal, or constitutional benefit in allowing even virtual child porn… to be left wholly unregulated.”

    Where you ever a libertarian and if so when did you stop becoming one?

  3. Dear Mike,
    You are a fucking idiot. Moetan is awesome. Not our fault if your extremist Christian faggot ways makes you feel disturbed by it.

  4. @Falen: that’s the best argument against regulation, yes, it’s tough to draw a line that doesn’t affect things that really shouldn’t be regulated. And I hope I don’t mean to imply that passing a law is the ultimate solution to all this. It isn’t, and never will be. I just wouldn’t shed too many tears if someone tried something to stop the worst of it.

    @Zhong: this isn’t a politics blog so I’ll try to keep my answer brief, but I’ve never been a libertarian, though during high school and college I had strong sympathies for certain libertarian arguments about government intervention in certain sectors of the economy (free trade, welfare programs) and for things like freedom of the press and the like, especially regarding the Internet. I still like free trade than a lot more than the evangelical lefties on my campus, and am still generally wary of attempts to legislate private morals in the manner of the Religious Right. However, the insight that has really challenged some of my thinking on this is that laws or the lack thereof can have a profound effect not just on individuals but on the way entire societies think and expect. There’s a closer symbiotic relationship to what the government permits or disallows and what society deems acceptable than I used to think, and so the argument, for instance, that no real person is victimized in virtual child porn is true on a legal perspective, but it can be argued that it permits a culture that in the longer run victimizes children more easily. Of course I immediately see the slippery slope of that and I would still generally presume against the government enforcing “virtue”–generally if it has to come in it means the culture has already moved past the the point where it can be “enforced” by nonlegal means. If it sets any boundaries they need to be very wide and only at the farthest ends. Honestly, I consider this one of them, because I think the sexualization of children causes far more harm than good and there can be even a state interest in having a say in discouraging a culture that tolerates that. (If you want to continue this discussion you can email or IM me…it’s a worthwhile and interesting discussion but somewhat off topic.)

    @Nu: ding ding ding! You win the prize for ‘hilarious comment of the week!’ I love the implication that I’m a faggot because I don’t drool like a duck at Moetan. 🙂 LOL

  5. Actually you are mostly because you don’t understand the concept of moe.
    And most animes/mangas should have never been licensed outside Japan as all the licensors do is butcher them.

  6. Your title is misleading fyi. the article says this: “in which 86.5% of those who responded said that manga and art should be subject to regulation for child pornography”. Regulation doesn’t mean they need to be necessarily banned, nor does it mean that lolicons who view such material are subject to 86.5% of japanese dislike. The interview asked if there should be regulation at all, and frankly, who wouldn’t say “some” regulation is better than the current state, which is “none”? The sticking point of course is where the line is drawn, or to what extent this regulation should reach.

  7. Ink was a high-school senior for most of Moetan. That being said, she did have some ecchi scenes, however, because of her age in the show, it technically wasn’t loli.

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