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.

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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”.

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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.

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

枝野委員
それでは次に、この児童買春の性交等の中には「性交若しくは性交類似行為をし、」という言葉が入っております。この性交類似行為が勉強会でもさんざん議論になったわけでありますが、これが法律の中に書いてある場合と、一般的に法律を全く知らない人が性交類似行為と聞いた場合とでは、多分イメージも違うのではないだろうかな。私も、一応弁護士ではありますけれども、売春防止法とか余り知りませんでしたので、性交類似行為と今回の議論の中で初めて聞いて、あれと思いまして、なるほどなとも一方では思ったのですけれども、ちょっとこの解釈について確認をさせていただきたいと思います。
例えば、我々のような普通の服を着ていて普通にキスをしましたというような話とか、あるいは普通に服を着ている状態で抱擁をするとか、アメリカなんかでは道端でもするような抱擁をしましたというふうな話は性交類似行為には入らないというふうに考えておりますが、よろしいでしょうか。
円参議院議員
今枝野先生がおっしゃったようなケースは、私も性交類似行為には入らないと思っております。
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, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. 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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