Cartoonists oppose new regulation on sexual expressions in comics+

Padang—A group of cartoonists including Tetsuya Chiba, illustrator of popular manga series "Ashita no Joe" (Tomorrow's Joe), voiced their opposition Monday in Tokyo to a proposed ordinance revision aimed at regulating sexual imagery in comics and animations.

Arriving at the Tokyo metropolitan government, the cartoonists voiced concerns over the proposal, to be put before a vote Friday, which calls for restricting comics and animations that contain sexualized depictions of "nonexistent minors" -- a controversial concept described in the draft regulation, referring to characters that people would assume to be minors.

Cartoonist Machiko Satonaka, one of the participants, in the afternoon told reporters the proposed regulation "pertains to freedom of expression and is open to varied interpretation," and she was "horrified that the government will even regulate comic characters, despite no one actually being harmed."

"I have seen cases of our culture losing power because of regulations. We want readers to decide them," said Chiba, in a speech he gave at a morning meeting of Democratic Party of Japan legislators at the Tokyo government.

The ordinance calls upon the animation and comic industry not to sell to minors works that depict sexual situations involving minors, while also designating other works that deals with materials such as rape as "harmful materials" and ban minors' access to them.


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