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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

BBC wonders why ‘thought crime’ is not illegal in Japan

Apparently drawing something imaginary, a victimless ‘crime’ if ever there was one, leads the BBC to bemusement that Japan does not share the sensible consensus that criminalising thoughts is the way to go.

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23 comments to BBC wonders why ‘thought crime’ is not illegal in Japan

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Reasons for not paying the licence fee keep mounting up.

  • pete

    The BBC should reprimand the writer of that article for failing to celebrate the diversity of world cultures that manga contributes to.

  • If I recall my history correctly, during the Japanese isolationist period under the Tokugawa shogunate (1603 – 1868), virtually everything except ‘cartoons’ (in reality drawings on woodblock which were then used for printing), was the only medium not subject to censorship.

    It is this separation between media which might be deemed critical of the state and ‘cartoons’ which in their definition cannot be that has led to this art-form surviving for so long.

    Indeed even the forms themselves are caricatures of very ancient forms, such as the heavily breasted women in a land which is almost exclusively small breasted in the native population.

    Can pencil drawings, often not even coloured in, be said to be child porn?

    Only in the eyes of the prurient I suspect, who are on the lookout for anything that might be vaguely sexual and they find it everywhere.

  • I read that article this morning and hoped somebody would blog about it. The confusion in the BBC at the thought of people being allowed to do something which Islington lefties disapprove of is noticeable throughout.

  • Did you see the sidebar article? “Should Belgian murderer be allowed youth in Asia?”

  • But is the boundary between fantasy and reality always clear?

    Hmm, is this a real question, Mr. Fletcher, or are you in need of psychiatric care?…

  • Tedd

    Can pencil drawings, often not even coloured in, be said to be child porn?

    There was a landmark supreme court case in Canada about twenty years ago wherein a man was charged with violating the anti-child-porn law because of some fantasies he had written in his diary. These were not published or made known to any second party, nor where they based on any real events. They were stories he made up and wrote down. Thankfully, the supremes ruled in favour of the defendant: Fantasies written down in a diary are not a crime. Pathetically, though, the supremes’ reasoning was not that the charge was absurd on its face, but merely that the fantasies were protected speech because they were art.

  • Regional

    How many times do you hear journalists claim to know what individuals are thinking from their warped view of the world?

  • PeterT

    This, at least, are cartoons of which Mohammed would have approved. Let us see if anybody at the BBC takes the article down until the bodies of those poor chaps have cooled down.

  • bloke in spain

    The interesting aspect of the article was the total omission of any reference to actual sexual assaults on actual children provoked by this supposed kiddiepr0n. (Unless you’re counting the girl offered an enticing markup on second hand apparel-some should get so lucky). Now something tells me, if the Beeb could make the slightest case for an enhanced level of Japanese kiddiefiddling, journo-san would have been staining his Y-fronts. But… Anyone know of a statistical comparison between paedoNippery & the Western pursuit? Just wondering…

  • Ivan D

    The BBC has moved on to promoting the Guardian’s view on Ched Evans. The self righteous moralistic nausea factor appears to be especially high today. As usual it is inversely proportional to the quality of journalism. Perhaps I should be grateful that I am not forced to pay for the Guardian as well as the BBC, but I suspect that the reality is that I am.

  • Perhaps I should be grateful that I am not forced to pay for the Guardian as well as the BBC, but I suspect that the reality is that I am.

    You are. The Guardian is kept afloat largely by public sector job adverts, which are payed for by…you, I suspect.

  • Pardone

    Japan makes the greatest porn art in the world, especially of the Evangelion variety. Indeed, Masamune Shirow, creator of Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed, is a rather prodigious Hentai artist.

  • lucklucky

    I don’t understand the Samizdata Illuminatus surprise.

    Great Britain is one of the European countries with more censorship. We just have to see how no newspaper in Britain was capable of posting the cartoons.
    If i am mistaken and any did someone please post.

  • Paul Marks

    You mean that drawings do not come alive?

    I always they did, I will have to discuss the matter with my friend – the invisible cat.

  • This is on sale in my local Waterstones right now (in plastic wrapping): https://m.waterstones.com/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=10411789

    Probably it’s enough to bother the BBC, if they bothered to look.

  • Adam Maas

    Neil Gaiman says everything that needs to be said on the subject:

    http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/12/why-defend-freedom-of-icky-speech.html

  • embutler

    clumsy headline..
    should say..
    bbc wonders why “thought crime” is still legal in japan..

  • Mr Ed

    You mean that drawings do not come alive?

    They did in the 80s, a-Ha proved that.

  • Nick (Natural Genius) Gray

    It makes you wonder how warped the world would be if the BBC ran the world! BBCtopia! (PeeCeetopia?)

  • andy

    This wouldn’t have anything to do with Japan not importing hoardes of intolerant medieval minded savages would it?

  • This wouldn’t have anything to do with Japan not importing hoardes of intolerant medieval minded savages would it?

    No, it really don’t.