Sunday, December 10, 2006

The crosscultural wars

PMS: The good ole’ USA *also* doesn’t define abortion as murder.

SH: Yes, and why is that? Because social liberals from the Warren Court onwards have imposed their views on the general public thru judicial fiat.

PMS: So Japan would be a safer place then the USA for our children to grow up in, but that is somehow irrelevant?

SH: Yes, it’s irrelevant to my original post. Try reading what I actually wrote.

PMS: What, specifically, does the Japanese government or the consensus of its citizens sanction that you would classify as rape, robbery and murder that can’t also be said for the US?


i) Japan clearly has a more liberal policy when it comes to the sex trade, although, under intense international pressure, it has begun to make some token gestures towards a crackdown. But the fact that this has to come from the outside tells you a lot about the social mores of the country.

ii) We have a culture war in our own country between liberals and social conservatives. An elite minority in the media, judiciary, and academic are attempting to redefine traditional values by a judicial coup d’etat.

PMS: On the contrary, a very strong case can be made that we as a nation have become *less* bound by biblical precepts since then.

SH: See above.

PMS: But the Bible doesn’t conveniently define an age of consent for us. Its concern is that sex be confined to the marriage bed, not a window of acceptable ages for sexual activity.

SH: The Bible doesn’t define the age of consent because, like every other society, past and present, Jewish culture also had a set of unwritten rules.

PMS: The question is how do we determine what constitutes a worse violation?

SH: No, that’s not the question. Like every other critic, you try to change the subject.

PMS: T.S. brought up *modern* Japan, so it was *your* appeal to antiquity that was the red herring. It was you who failed to answer the charge without obfuscation.

Again, T.S.’s comments relate to modern Japan. It may be inconvenient for you to limit your comments to the constraints of his original claim, but I guess you’ll just have to make due.

So T.S. levels an argument, you counter by appealing to factors that he filtered out; and yet he’s supposed to answer on *your* terms. Give me a break. That is just plain self-serving. That is not how it goes in a debate, Steve. You know that as well as anyone.

T.S. made an argument on *his* grounds. For me, that sets the stage for the debate. I don’t care what grounds you invoke, only whether you can refute him on his.


i) Like T.S., you are attempting to rewrite the history of this thread. T. S. was responding to something I posted. So my original post set the stage, not his subsequent reply.

ii) And his attempt to limit the comparison to modern Japan represents an arbitrary restriction.

iii) It is also inconsistent with the nature of an internal critique.

iv) Let’s also keep in mind that T.S. poses as a Christian. So I’m perfectly entitled to invoke Christian ethics when debating with someone who professes to be a fellow believer.

PMS: Steve, come on, you know T.S. isn’t saying this. This kind of statement just makes you look like a bully.

SH: On the contrary, T.S. regularly talks out of both sides of his mouth. He started by spouting relativistic rhetoric in objection to my post.

After Calvindude and I challenged him on those grounds, he temporarily backed down, but I see, in his latest reply to Der Fuersprecher, that he’s reverted to his relativistic pose—like a politician who says one thing to one audience, and another to another.

PMS: American culture salvaged Japan from what would otherwise be a non theistic slide into moral chaos?

Steve, are you saying that the Japanese government sanctions child porn and molestation or that it citizens do? I find that impossible to believe.

SH: It’s easy to disbelieve something when you don’t want to believe it. And because you don’t want to believe it, you don’t bother to investigate the subject. Here are just a few examples:

The worldwide flow of pornography is difficult to describe with any precision but a brief examination of some of the major international production centres offers a sense of the global supply and demand. In Asia, Japan is the most important centre for the commercial production of child pornography, producing a significant and increasing amount of "teen pornography" that depicts young Japanese girls in sexually explicit poses in teen magazines. Peter Constantine, Japan's Sex Trade: A Journey Through Japan's Erotic Subcultures 184-88 (1993). Japan also produces millions of erotic comics that are targeted at young students and readily available in vending machines in most Japanese cities. Japanese child pornography reflects a special appeal for sex with Japanese girls who are often depicted in school uniforms. Pornography involving pre-pubescent children is also available commercially in Tokyo.

Japanese child pornography is distributed in Asia and worldwide. U.S. law enforcement officials in California report seizing material depicting the exposed genitals of pre-pubescent Japanese children. Canadian Customs reports that pornographic materials involving Japanese children are found in the possession of crew members of Japanese cruise ships. Japanese child pornography is also circulating on the Internet. The Yakuza, Japanese organised crime, previously controlled the sex industry in Japan.

“The stereotypical hentai is a monster with a large amount of phallic tentacles harassing a Japanese schoolgirl,” said Igor Bass of Brooklyn, N.Y., Web master of the mainstream anime collector sites and Like most mainstream anime Web masters, Bass said he does not link to hentai sites.
Some fans of such material make no pretense about where the attraction lies.

“Does anybody know where one could find those fantastic Lolita manga (comic) pics showing girls age 2-10?” one hentai fan who identified himself as “diaper fancier” wrote in a news group posting.

Though most commercial toon porn Web sites steer clear of such material, the “Hentai Kid” said that fan artists and semi-professionals — many of them working from Japan — have no such compunctions.

“On the far end of the spectrum, it's true there are ultraviolent stories involving unwilling underage participants,” he wrote. “If these artists were living in the U.S., they would probably end up in some sort of legal trouble, but in Japan there is no other apparent legal requirement other than a slight pixelation or censor bar over the genitals.”

Frederick Lane III, a lawyer and author of “Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in the Cyber Age,” said it is inevitable that hentai will create controversy in Western societies, given that "the Japanese culture is much more accepting of violence in sexual setting." It also is certain to push political hot buttons "because of the greater tendency for kids to get hold of it," he said.

The pornographic comic-books for adults that sell in their millions depict young girls with tiny mouths, pert noses and big, innocent eyes, usually dressed in school uniform. Lolicon (Lolita complex) is part of the everyday vocabulary.

Japan is the child-pornography capital of the world. It probably produces four-fifths of all the videos and magazines that show children in sexual situations. The great majority of the men who tour the child-prostitution centres in the Philippines, Thailand and other parts of Asia come from Japan. Interpol forwards scores of complaints about Japanese child pornography on the Internet to the National Police Agency in Tokyo. In 1997 some 3,000 Japanese websites were showing obscene material, fully two-fifths of which included pornographic images of children.

Few Japanese politicians seem concerned about child pornography. Most of those who have expressed a view have said a ban would infringe freedom of speech and expression. In 1994 Japan ratified the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child, but it has refused to accept that its laws for protecting minors are weak. Under the present law, a child pornographer would not be guilty of a crime unless he were caught in the act of filming or photographing a child indecently. As for sex crimes committed by Japanese abroad, the victim has to bring the case in Japan.

In 1996 Japan was censured for its lax attitude to child pornography by a UN gathering in Sweden. Since then, there has been some public pressure to tighten the law. But the movement for reform has only gathered pace after the sudden growth of enjo kosai (compensated dating), a polite expression for schoolgirl prostitution, which has got seriously out of hand with the arrival of cheap mobile telephones, coupled with the economic recession. According to the police, juvenile crime soared by 14.5% last year. Drug-taking and schoolgirl prostitution were the main features.

A bill designed to control the sexual abuse of minors was shelved in 1998 when, to their shame, members of the main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), objected that it would interfere with individuals’ rights. Last month, however, the 12 (predominantly female) members of the Diet behind the bill tried again. On April 28th, the DPJ at last allowed a watered-down version of the bill to go through the upper house unopposed. The bill, now almost certain to become law, was due to be presented to the lower house when parliament resumed this week.

The law may not turn out to be as tough as it sounds. For one thing, the powerful publishing industry has managed to get its pornographic comic-books exempted from the ban. And understaffed Japanese courts are notorious for taking years to pronounce sentences. Junko Miyamoto, a veteran campaigner, says much will depend on how seriously the police choose to enforce the new law. In practice, they will be able to act only inside Japan, and proof of wrongdoing will, as now, be difficult to obtain. Outside the country, it will presumably be business as usual.

Presently in Japan, sexually explicit video tapes, books, and magazines which cater to all sorts of erotic interests and fetishes are readily available. These include sexually obvious manga without age restrictions as to availability. Phone booths in commercial areas and city newspapers contain advertisements for sexual liaisons of every sort.

However, this availability of modern pornography is relatively new. Essentially since the end of World War II with the imposition of American military rules, which lasted until 1951, there was prohibition of any sexually explicit material.

The situation began to change markedly at the turn of the present decade. While the laws themselves were not modified, interpretation of them changed. Judges during this period became increasingly liberal allowing more pornography of wider scope to be considered "not obscene."

In Tokyo police have sold trafficked women who have escaped back to those who enslaved them. (Local relief agenices, Michael Specter, "Traffickers’ New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women," New York Times, 11 January 1998)

The enormous sex industry in Japan is socially accepted. At the center of this empire is Kabukicho district. "It’s a crime, but police don’t really bother us." (Manager of a pornography producing company, "Pornography Easy To Find in Japan," Joseph Coleman, Associated Press, October 1997)

Japanese men constitute the largest number of sex tourists in Asia. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)

The Philippines, Thailand, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong are some of the primary Asian destinations for organized sex tours from Japan. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)
Many sex establishments in the Philippines are backed by Japanese capital. (International Labor Organization, Elif Kaban, "UN labour body urges recognition of sex industry," Reuters, 18 August 1998)

Australia is a destination for Japanese sex tourists. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)

Japanese sex tourists frequent Bangkok and other parts of Thailand to buy women and children as young as 12 and 13. ("Japan’s UNICEF ambassador rails against child sex abuse," Kyodo, 17 June 1998)

In 1998, Japan was the world's biggest producer of child pornography and Parliament recently refused to pass a law banning the production of child pornography, citing "business reasons." (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, Poona Antaseeda, "Expert urges global law to end child pornography on the Internet," Bangkok Post, 3 June 1998)

Pornography is so pervasive, even schoolchildren have access to comic books with pornographic contents.


  1. "Because social liberals from the Warren Court onwards have imposed their views on the general public thru judicial fiat."

    That's original - whenever the courts rule in a way we don't like, let's just call it an imposition of minority views "thru judicial fiat." It's always easier to label than to present a solid argument.

  2. Auntie May,

    Almost like your comment. LOL.

  3. :::YAWN!!!:::

  4. Auntie May said...

    "That's original - whenever the courts rule in a way we don't like, let's just call it an imposition of minority views 'thru judicial fiat.' It's always easier to label than to present a solid argument."

    Aside from the fact that, unlike you, I documented my claims, you miss the point that the question at issue is not *how* judges rule, but *whether* judges should be shortcircuiting the democratic process in the first place by striking down acts of Congress, ballot measures, &c.