A Japanese industry standards group has issued a ban on the controversial RapeLay and games of its ilk, according to Bloomberg.
While reports last week that the Ethics Organization of Computer Software had taken such a step were premature, the ban, which carries no legal authority, has now been confirmed. 233 Japanese software firms belong to EOCS, including 90% of the country's makers of adult software. In issuing the ban EOCS made reference to a February motion in the British Parliament which condemned RapeLay.
Such games are a thriving business in Japan, Bloomberg reports:
The adult software games industry had sales of 34.1 billion yen ($353 million) in 2007...
Computer games containing rape scenes are readily available in Japanese stores. Yodobashi Camera Co., an electronics retailer, sells ‘Rape!Rape!Rape!’... at its store in Akihabara, a shopping area of Tokyo famous for stores popular with fans of the Japanese cartoons known as manga.
With RapeLay requiring players to assault a 12-year-old girl character, Bloomberg notes that possession of real child pornography, much less the virtual kind, is not illegal in Japan. Former U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer criticized Japan over the issue in January of this year:
Only Japan allows people to possess these hideous images without penalty... Is it not time for Japan to find a way to punish the guilty?
Although the EOCS ban lacks the force of law, Singapore's Straits Times reports that most Japanese retailers will follow the edict.