Takashi Kato’s first encounter with a comic book depicting a child having sex was a turning point for him – he had been hunting for such content all his life.
Kato attacked at least 11 children over the age of 24.
He would go to the adult part bookstores which sold comic books featuring teenagers having sex. When he came home, he masturbated to the same images. According to Kato, the comics were “completely different” from pictures and videos of real minors having sex. “They can depict things that would never happen in real life,” he explained to VICE World News.
He became more and more interested in more blunt content. When he physically abused youth, he was inspired by the pictures he read in comic books.
The 60-year-old defended his actions, saying: “I knew it was against the law but I told myself I was making the kid happy so the law was wrong.”
Japan was the last of the 38 member countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development to criminalize the possession of child abuse material in 2014. However, illustrations of such actions were still allowed.
Some manga artists and lawmakers claimed at the time that the restrictions limited the authors’ freedom of expression. They argued that the illustrations were fictitious and that no evidence using them would succeed child abuseeffectively persuading legislators not to regulate the subject.
Incredible evidence suggests otherwise, despite the lack of conclusive scientific evidence for the negative effects of comic books. This has led to calls for Japan to ban the illustrations from activists, psychiatrists who treat child sexual abusers, and the world community.
These critics argue that allowing the illustration to circulate openly normalizes and profits from what they see as child sexual abuse. They claim it is also impossible to assemble scientific proof, because any research into the influence of comics on young people may endanger them even more.
For now, the dispute seems to have died down. Since neither opponents nor fans of this manga have been able to conclusively prove who is right, such content is accepted and readily available in Japanese culture.
However, others believe that waiting for science to catch up is risky. Leader of a non-profit organization that deals with sexual assault crimes pornographyKazuna Kanajiri claims that by allowing the sale of this content, the Japanese government is “tolerating the exploitation of children.” She told VICE World News, “No matter how many times we warn people that it’s harmful, our message is undermined as long as this manga remains.”
She claimed that the manga also works as guide for seduction, which occurs when an adult befriends a teen to gain his trust and sexually abuse him. Children’s facial expressions in these comics may be presented as if they enjoy them, creating the false impression that children can consent to sex.
“We have created a world where children are forced to learn by experience that they have sexual value from an early age,” she noted.
The term “lolicon manga” first appeared in Japan around the 1970s, and was named after the 1955 Western novel Lolita. This manga describes a 37-year-old man repeatedly raping a 12-year-old girl.
Often with sensual connotations, fan artists portrayed their favorite female characters as young girls. Despite having a large fan base in the 1980s, lolicon did not achieve as much popularity as adventure-focused shonen manga or plots related to sports. Lolicon and its shotacon counterpart, featuring young boys in sexualized imagery, are just two of the many sub-genres that will be available in the JPY 675.9 billion (or US$4.67 billion) manga market in 2021.
In 1989, a serial killer Tsutomu Miyazaki— known as the “Otaku Killer” for his obsession with pornographic comics and pedophile content — was arrested after killing four girls and molesting their corpses, contaminating lolicon culture. Even though Miyazaki’s terrible deeds drove the subculture even further underground – even though it was always legal – the influence of this medium was never directly attributed to him.
While the actual damage done by this manga has not been determined, according to Akiyoshi Saito, a psychiatric social worker who works with convicted child sexual abusers, it is clear that the comics incite sexual assault by the attackers.
Saito cured 150 child sex offenders and almost all of them masturbated while reading manga. The drawings have been likened by some to Pandora’s box. “The barrier to making youthful sexual goals is lowered by consuming certain forms of material and masturbating to it,” he told VICE World News.
But not everyone is guilty of abuse. Because nobody is sexual attraction to children at birth he claimed that Japanese society was equally to blame.
He added: “Children should not be consumed; adults should protect them.”
“These products would not be allowed if our society strictly respected children’s rights, regardless of concerns about free speech,” he said.
But some disagree. Manga artist Akio, who depicts minors for sexual purposes in his work, disagrees that the genre should be banned. He argues that the drawings are not only innocent, but also act as a deterrent pedophiles like himself.
Conversing anonymously with News from the world of VICEhe said, “This is for men who want to do acts like rape even though they’re not raping anyone.”
Although Akio maintains that he has never actually attacked a child, he believes he is attracted to young girls for sex. He claimed that instead of drawing from his own experiences, his illustrations were motivated by actual child sex crimes reported by the Japanese media.
He suggested that even if these adult manga were banned, they would still exist market for depicting child sexual abuse in cartoons.
He asked, “Doesn’t the fact that people are reading this suggest that the need is great enough to create an industry?” He said, “I was just fulfilling the request.”
Kato, a former voracious reader of the manga, claimed that his love for youth began long before he picked up the comics.
However, he pointed out that these cartoons may very well be reinforcing the sexualization of children while cashing in on a desire that must never be satisfied. He feels it artists such as Akio should be held accountable for producing child exploitation works. He claimed that by publishing such material, they were convincing people that it was acceptable to see children as sexual objects.
He speaks from his own experience as a torturer.
Kato claims that in his time as teacher several decades ago, he sexually assaulted a junior high school student. In addition, he abused a mentally disabled person High school student, serving as his volunteer tutor, and publicly molested youth. Kato even went abroad to persuade young people to have paid sex.
About 21 years ago, Kato finally turned himself in to the police. That day, with rope, duct tape and a knife in his hand, he cornered a small child in the men’s room. Kato became concerned that he might kill the youth by attempting to rape him when the boy protested and ran away, leaving Kato alone with the gun.
He said: “Everything I did was an excuse for my behavior. Besides, I didn’t even consider the other person.
“Whether it was a boy or a girl, what I was doing was bullying. Even if the child has consented, that’s all sexual violenceand that’s how it should be treated,” he argued.
Kato received a light sentence of four years of probation and community service for his crimes. According to the prosecution, this was most likely due to his status criminal for the first time. The statute of limitations has expired for the earlier crimes Kato mentioned in an interview with VICE World News.
Despite Kato’s pleas to outlaw the manga, the Japanese government has no firm intention to re-examine it, allowing illustrators such as Akio to continue to make a living from these works.
Akio admits that he is not very proud of his work. “Logically speaking, what I produce is not perfect, even in the world of art and fictionhe added.
I don’t though broken all rights.
Also read about Tsutomu Miyazaki – Otaku killer who killed and attacked 4 little girls
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