United Nations Pressured To Stop Japan From Making Manga

By April Ryder | Published

Not surprisingly, Japan’s Red Flag (or Shinbun Akahata in Japanese) has launched a new battle against creative freedom, aiming its sights on pulling various manga magazines from convenience store shelves. Red Flag says that it will bring the issue to the United Nations if they have to in order to ensure what they labeled as “adult magazines” are removed from the shelves. 

Manga Targeted

An important piece of information to keep in mind is that Red Flag is a Communist Party magazine, not an official news source. The issue is not only that this magazine publication believes they should have the power to censor the public in such a way, but that the titles the company labeled as “adult” aren’t pornographic magazines at all. 

They are manga animation stories. In particular, Young Jump, Young King, and Young Animal have been targeted by the publication for their “continued depiction of ‘sexy’ women.” A tale as old as time has spawned yet another spat over what is and is not acceptable for manga art. 

Depicting Women?

Manga has been around for more than 100 years and has always depicted various types of beautiful women.

Manga has been an expression of Japanese culture for many generations. In 1902, Kitazawa Rakuten published the first modern manga with four boxes per page and typed texts, but manga was an art form long before then. 

It’s not really about the art form of Red Flag, though; it’s likely more about the control. The Communist model has always pressed its own version of morality on the people, and this instance is no exception to the rule. Here’s how they did it. 

Research From Readers?


The publication sent out a QR code that provided access to a survey conducted by the New Japan Women’s Association.

According to one individual who took the manga survey, it felt like they were doing some sort of research on what kind of magazines people like to buy. “Do the stores carry magazines that you are interested in, such as adult magazines?” 

Hunting For Content


Red Flag went on to say that in a three-day hunt for smut (over more than 500 stores), they found “adult magazines” (and manga) in the stores, “which were thought to have disappeared through campaigns and surveys,” had returned.

The discovery prompted a nationwide survey (to uncover more “adult” magazines in stores) and a petition to the United Nations

Investigating The Magazines


“We will investigate whether there are adult magazines that treat women as sexual objects in convenience stores that are used by everyone regardless of gender or age, and submit a request to the convenience store headquarters with the results. We will also include a report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Please cooperate by all means.”

Bucking The System?


With a swift deadline of April 10th set on the statement, it looks like these Japanese store owners have an important manga decision ahead of them.

Do you comply with the request of a Communist Party magazine, or do you buck the system and leave the magazines on the shelf? It’s not an easy question to answer when you’re living in Japan. 

Source: Togetter