The Absurdity of Japan's Porn Censorship Law
To anyone unfamiliar with Japanese adult video (aka JAV), the expression "uncensored porn" must seem rather silly because porn by definition is going to show the nude human form in all its glory, right?  Like trying to sell a car without wheels, censoring porn cripples it and defeats the entire purpose of it.  Why on earth would you do such a thing?  Unfortunately, in Japan there exists this ridiculous law that forces domestic adult video producers to cover genitalia with mosaic pixelation in their releases.

Let's reflect on the absurdity of Japan's porn censorship law, which was penned in the early 1900s, and still exists with the same wording in Japan's criminal code to this very day.  Below I present six arguments for why this anti-obscenity law is in dire need of abolishment or revision, as its current legal interpretation and implementation wallow in veritable illogic.

Argument #1: There's actually no explicit "you must censor porn" law.

The supposed requirement to censor Japanese porn emerged from precedent cases that bastardized Article 175 of Japan's criminal code:

A person who distributes, sells or displays in public an obscene document, drawing or other objects shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 2 years, a fine of not more than 2,500,000 yen or a petty fine. The same shall apply to a person who possesses the same for the purpose of sale.
(Source: http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail/?id=1960&vm=04&re=02)

Well, that's pretty vague, huh?  It basically says that it's illegal to sell or distribute obscene materials.

What exactly is the definition of "obscenity?"  Countless countries and societies have wrestled with this question over the course of human history.  Is there some benchmark or guideline?  I'm of the belief that obscenity--like beauty--rests in the eye of the beholder, making it a challenge to objectively regulate.  Obscenity is such a subjective thing that it's impossible to regulate without concrete benchmarks and guidelines that at least reflect the general consensus of modern society.

Instead, Japan relies solely on precedent cases to interpret this law.  Apparently, the current interpretation is that the male penis and the female vagina are obscene.  How depressing!  I've always considered the human body a thing of sheer beauty.

A law like this that's defined exclusively through precedent is a danger to society, as it swings based on the whims of the judge presiding that day.  Did you hear that Mr. Tanaka down the street got arrested for X the other day?  I guess doing X is a no-no!  Who knew?  Scary stuff.

It reminds me of a poignant quote I once heard, "Japanese people do not need to know the laws, but they must obey them."
(Source: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2010/06/29/issues/no-need-to-know-the-law-but-you-must-obey-it)

Argument #2: Penis and vagina are obscene, but anus and feces are OK.
Ironically, the things considered obscene and banned in many other countries are OK in Japan.
- Anus: You can show an anus unpixelated, but must pixelate the penis and vagina.
- Hentai anime & manga featuring clearly underage characters: As long as the genitals are pixelated, you can portray child pornography in cartoon or comic book form.
- Showering someone's face in semen (aka bukkake): No need to censor bodily fluids like semen.
- Feces, urine, and vomit: No need to censor scatology scenes either.
- Incest (implied): No need to use the silly "step-daughter/son/dad/mom" label like the USA adult industry does.
- Rape (implied): Japanese porn can get away with more intense rape scenes than the USA does.

If you performed an experiment asking people to rate the level of obscenity in a video clip, would the general consensus be that penis and vagina is more obscene than shitting in someone's mouth?  I would argue that shitting on someone is far more obscene, but perhaps this is my biased Western upbringing?

Here's a great article from BBC news regarding this topic:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30698640

Argument #3: Porn censorship is in direct conflict with Japan's constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression.
Article 21 of Japan's constitution states this:
Freedom of assembly and association as well as speech, press and all other forms of expression are guaranteed.  No censorship shall be maintained, nor shall the secrecy of any means of communication be violated.
(Source: http://www.japaneselawtranslation.go.jp/law/detail_main%3Fre%3D%26vm%3D02%26id%3D174)

I understand that the government may override the freedom of speech for the sake of protecting society from obscenity; however, without a clearer definition of obscenity, these two articles exist in striking discord.  As long as the form of expression is produced with consenting adults of legal age without physical or mental harm done and no crime is being committed (e.g. child/human trafficking, incest, etc.), then I see no reason for the government to censor the form of expression.

Argument #4: If penis and vagina is defined as obscene through precedent, then why not block it on the Internet as other countries with porn censorship laws do?
Japan could solve this uncensored porn "problem" in 2 seconds.  Uncensored porn DVDs are confiscated and destroyed in police busts, so why not block uncensored porn on the Internet?  Who's buying DVDs these days anyways?  Even older analog Japanese people have discovered that the Internet has a pretty impressive adult entertainment library.  If they're really serious about this law, then they could easily enforce it by implementing an Internet filter.

Major uncensored porn operations like Caribbeancom, FC2, Heydouga, Heyzo, etc. skirt the porn censorship law by registering companies and hosting servers overseas (e.g. in the United States).  Their websites are obviously targeting the Japanese market, but they're technically American corporate entities.  So if this whole thing really is about protecting Japanese society from the scourge of immoral uncensored porn, then those illegal operations would be devastated by a Japan-wide uncensored porn block.

Yes, I'm aware of VPNs and the like.  But I presume that the majority of Japanese consumers either don't know how or aren't willing to use a VPN.  Even technically-savvy me admits that VPNs can often harm the porn consumption experience, as they introduce increased cost and reduced streaming bandwidth.  Uncensored JAV operations bank on the Japanese government not interfering with ISPs and freedom-of-speech Internet.

I suspect the Japanese government doesn't want to filter the Internet because it will make them look more like communist China and the Great Firewall, and Lord knows they don't want that.  A massive porn filter wrapped around a country's Internet access likely damages the public relations image of a democratic nation like Japan.  On the other hand, democratic South Korea criminalizes porn and filters their Internet, so it is done elsewhere in the non-communist world.

Argument #5: This law is completely out of touch with the Internet age.
The original 1907 idea behind the law was to stop Mr. Tanaka down the road from selling and distributing materials that could harm public morals and damage the impressionable minds of Japanese youth.  We have to protect upstanding citizens from Mr. Tanaka's sicko filth!

But now there's something called the Internet, a global information network that has some pretty obscene stuff on it--stuff far more obscene than a penis and vagina.  And in the modern age, it's considered the #1 resource for purchasing and consuming pornography.

The Internet is bursting with uncensored porn, so now how does this anti-obscenity law do anything to protect Japan's public morals?  The Internet, with its potent democratizing powers, simply isn't compatible with this ancient Japan-specific law.  If freedom-of-speech-loving Japan isn't going to filter it nationwide, then parents of children and those offended by pornography should self-regulate using freely-available technology designed for Internet filtering.  The supposed "obscene materials" are already widely available on the Internet, so now we must transition to an era of self-regulation.  We can't and shouldn't expect a country's government to decide unilaterally what the citizens can and cannot read, watch, and listen to--especially when that country is connected to a world-wide web of free expression.

Argument #6 - This whole thing is actually just a protection racket.
At the end of the day, this law has nothing to do with protecting public morals and everything to do with lining the pockets of those who run JAV industry "ethics organizations."  Whenever a JAV studio wants to release a new video, they must get their mosaic censoring approved by an ethics organization that grants them their seal of approval.  A hefty fee is levied for this service of course.

Not coincidentally, these organizations are sometimes operated by retired law enforcement or those with connections to law enforcement.  If you don't pay the protection money, then you may have a cop knocking on your studio door.  The adult video industry is already in dire straits as it is with rampant piracy and dwindling revenues, so this ongoing extortion scheme is just sad.  Forever in a greed-fueled, adversarial relationship with JAV studios, these ethics organizations endlessly bite the hand that feeds them, sabotaging their own industry and pushing it further underground.

This protection racket also well-explains why mainstream penis and vagina porn is the target, as opposed to niche scatology or anal porn (see Argument #2).  It's in the greatest financial interest of the scam to target the most popular porn categories.  The vast majority of JAV studios produce mainstream videos featuring human genitals, so let's extort the majority's operations.  It's not worth the time and effort targeting the smaller niche studios.

JAV studios would be far better served if these organizations promoted and supported the adult industry through mutually-beneficial services like affordable intellectual property legal advice and marketing assistance.  I would gladly pay for a membership in an ethics organization like that.  I would sooner die than pay for a mosaic seal of approval.

The JAV industry really needs love and support right now, but all they get is extorted.

CONCLUSION
There is no crime, and there is no victim when it's an adult video produced with consenting adults of legal age.  Japan needs to shit or get off the pot.  Make up your mind--ban porn or legalize porn.  Stop half-assing it like this, extorting and handicapping the adult industry all in the name of public morals.

I will conclude my diatribe with a promise.  I promise that if I ever get arrested and prosecuted, I will fight tooth and nail--brandishing my arguments in court before I am hammered down like the protruding nail that I am.

FURTHER READING
http://eiga9.altervista.org/articulos/obscenity.html
https://nicchiban.nichegamer.com/2019/11/japanese-otaku-politician-yamada-taro-proposes-law-to-end-hentai-and-pornography-censorship/

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