Japanese Communist Party encourages members to report fanservice manga to the UN

Gal Gohan

The Japanese Communist Party has reportedly created a “secret” report form to spread amongst its members in order to report young adult manga to the United Nations.

Japanese Togetter blogger Misato Nakayama reported finding the form as a QR code in the Shimbun Akahata, the daily newspaper for the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). The form asks questions such as whether convenience stores carry adult magazines, and names manga magazines that carry seinen titles for young adult men such as Young Animal (which serializes Berserk)

This push to vilify anime and manga appears to partially contradict the party’s statements in 2021, where the JCP affirmed their alleged commitment to “free expression” but had reservations about how women are portrayed in creative works. What’s even more surprising is in 2010 all 8 JCP assembly members voted against a bill that would restrict freedom of expression; but a lot can change in 14 years.

In trying to provoke the United Nations into commenting on Japan’s policy of free expression, it’s evocative of the VICE hitpiece on Japanese media which conflated fanservice in manga and anime with child abuse.

After Japanese social media users discovered the “secret” poll, some pointed out the irony of a historically repressed political party wanting to use their authority restrict freedom of expression. You can find a screencap of a tweet thread discussing the JCP form below.

In contrast to the JCP’s goal of censoring manga and anime, Japanese politician and manga artist Ken Akamatsu has been an outspoken proponent of free speech and expression in Japan; he’s best known for his work as the creator of Love Hina and Negima. Most recently, Akamatsu discussed his campaign pledge to protect artists, and shared his concerns that “international pressure” could lead to censorship in Japan. Akamatsu is a member of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party.

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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