Clarification on the so-called “pseudo sexual acts” of the Tokyo Youth Ordinance

Another short note which I hope will help turn attention away from the supposed “vagueness” of the language in the Tokyo Youth Ordinance, and back to the more important issue of the loss of trust in the Government that has resulted from their one-sided strong-arming of this issue.


The term in the Ordinance that Dan Kanemitsu has translated as “pseudo sexual acts” (性交類似行為) has actually been debated by the government before. In my opinion, it would be better translated as “what appears to be sexual intercourse”. But this doesn’t exactly tell us very much in English or in Japanese, so what do they mean by it?

This question was answered at the 145th sitting of the Japanese Diet (1999, if I’m not mistaken), with regards to an earlier change in the law about child prostitution.

From here.

I’ll quote the relevant part of the discussion at the end of this post. I don’t have time to translate the whole thing at present, so just a quick summary and a few quotes. I’m going to use “actions that look like sexual acts” below, because that’s what fits better in the flow of the discussion.

Mr. Yukio EDANO (committee member)
[He notes that the term “actions that look like sexual acts” was heavily debated in study meetings, and that people who aren’t involved in law may get different ideas about what it means, so he’d like to explain.]

For example, when people wearing clothes normally kiss or hug, or linking arms as you might see on the sidewalks in the US, these don’t fall under the definition of “actions that look like sexual acts”.

Ms. Yoriko MADOKA (member of the house of Councilors)

I also don’t think that the examples that Mr. Edano just gave are “actions that look like sexual acts”.
(however), “actions that look like sexual acts” are those that, if you look carefully, appear to be (people having) sexual intercourse. As for what precisely comes under the definition, in the end, we have to look at each case when it comes up and judge it then. However, as I have just said, I recognise that the actions give by Mr. Edano are not “actions that look like sexual acts”.


In summary, as far as I can ascertain, a simple kiss on the cheek or lips is NOT considered to be a sexual act, or rather, “sexual intercourse” (性交) as Bill 156 puts it. Unless the Government has changed the meaning of the term 「性交類似行為」 from what they defined 11 years ago. Sure, it’s still rather vague, and it does not excuse the Government from its ignorance of views and input from the industry, but given the political history of this term, I really think any opposition to Bill 156 should be focused on something else.


The section summarised and translated above is as follows in Japanese:

ただ、性交類似行為とは、御案内のように、実質的に見て性交と同視し得る態様における性的な行為を申しております。何が性交類似行為に該当するかにつきましては、あくまでも具体的事案に即して判断されるべき事柄でありますが、今申しましたように、先生のような行為は性交類似行為には当たらないと存じます 。

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

One Response to Clarification on the so-called “pseudo sexual acts” of the Tokyo Youth Ordinance

  1. Pingback: In memory of 2010 finale: the anime/game/manga industry vs. the Tokyo Government « HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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