TOKYO, Japan ― Less than a month after the Tokyo Metropolitan government’s unprecedented decision to begin enforcing tighter controls of printed media, the otaku community has begun to fight back.
Kazuhiro Tanaka of Adachi, Tokyo, a lolicon well-known to his local community, has petitioned the government change the word “child pornography” to “recordings of child sexual abuse” in all relevant statutes. By changing the phrase from “child pornography” to “recordings of child sexual abuse”, Tanaka is attempting to draw a clear legal brightline which will exclude 2D printed matter from being classified as indecent.
“I don’t think it is fair that we lolicons and shotacons are punished under these laws,” Tanaka said. “We do not want to see recordings of real children being really exploited. That is what this law is supposed to punish. Who is really being hurt by lolicon manga? The Korean manga assistant that works 21 hours a day? Who cares about him?”
The petition has its skeptics. “I understand how Mr. Tanaka feels,” said Takashi Ishiguro, an employee of publishing house Kodansha. “None of us want to stop making manga for lolicons. They are a very strong consumer segment here at Kodansha and we will throw our support behind the proposed revisions. However, I fear that this issue does not have enough visibility in the broader community to affect any kind of real change.”
When asked how he would engage the local community and raise awareness, Mr. Tanaka sighed, saying, “You know, it’s been really hard trying to engage the local community. People have very little understanding of what shotacon and lolicon really are. They see us as pedophiles, and it makes them very nervous. This is part of the issue. We’ve been wrongfully discriminated against, but there is no way for us to fight public perception. Even if I make a speech in public, people will pull their kids in closer to them and walk away as quickly as they can. This is all thanks to us being lumped in with ‘child pornographers’. We have to let the public interact with us and see that we’re nothing of the sort.”
At time of writing, the petition had more than 3 signatures.