Variety reports a rather interesting development in Japan.
That ten of the biggest Japanese comics publishers, including Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan and Kadokawa have withdrawn from the Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF), the biggest such convention in the world. attracting over 130,000 visitors.
The fair is sponsored by the Tokyo city government. The publishers, allied as the Comic Ten Companies Association, are opposed to the bill that’s been submitted to the city and supported by the Tokyo governor to tighten restrictions on what are described as “excessive sexual depictions” in comics being sold to under 18s. The governor also stands as executive committee chairman of TAF.
In a statement, the Comic Ten stated “We strongly distrust the position of Governor Ishihara and municipal authorities, which lacks respect for comics and animation creators.”
Imagine if American comics companies had stood up to Dr Wertham in such a fashion, instead of kow towing and conspiring to put EC Comic out of business…
The withdrawal from TAF, on which Ishihara serves as executive committee chairman, is a statement of protest against the bill — one that, if the industry boycott spreads, could threaten the event’s success and even its existence.
Held annually since 2002, TAF last year recorded 132,492 visitors and 244 exhibitors, including 59 foreign companies.