A couple days ago big news hit that Japan has made the possession of child pornography illegal. Most big countries already have such laws, however this law differs in that fiction such as animation and comics are excluded. Big media companies like CNN state the exclusion is from large powerful lobby groups that protect the interests of the anime and manga industry. The law is also much softer than most countries in where the person charged faces a year is prison or a $10,000 fine. In many countries people have much harsher penalties like Canada’s 20 years of imprisonment or public online databases.
People do not want children harmed or abused, but there is a lot of bias and assumptions floating around. Two big ones are animated or drawn depictions of children are real children and that people who like fictional characters are also attracted to real children. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund debunks the views they oppose from the CNN article linked above and what they believe what the law will do in Japan. One side accepts that fictional works are still pornographic and the other suggests there needs to be scientific evidence that such creations are harmful.
With that said the political satirist Jon Stewart from the cable show The Daily Show took a stab at the news. His views are known as liberal, but in my opinion he has always seemed “Democrat.” Someone that is on the left of center and leaning towards liberal, but not by very much since the US is not very liberal. In the video he states the new law is embarrassingly late and “How can a lobby for a harmful, destructive industry take precedence over the protection of children?” He then compares the industry lobby groups for anime and manga to be similar to The National Rifle Association in the US. They are supposedly trying to defend companies that are willing to make money at the cost of children’s lives and well-being.
I am pro-gun regulation and a fan of anime and manga, so I find his comparison of media to weapons designed to kill to be outrageous. Both have differing worlds of psychology, science, and societal factors behind what the industries produce.