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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.

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