New Japanese Law Would Enable All Porn Performers to Void Contracts

New Japanese Law Would Enable All Porn Performers to Void Contracts

TOKYO — A legislative debate about lowering the age of legal majority in Japan, which quickly devolved into a sensationalist campaign about adult performers aged 18-19, has now morphed into a proposed new law under which anyone who signs a contract to appear in “pornographic productions” could void that contract at any time for any reason.

Today, Japanese newspaper The Mainichi published a lengthy, sensational account allegedly based on two anonymous women’s experiences in the Japanese adult industry, immediately followed by a tacit endorsement of the curious law that would render any “pornographic production” contract essentially unenforceable.

“As Japan's parliament debates a new law drafted to protect young people who signed contracts to perform in pornographic productions, two women have spoken out about the abuses they suffered in the shady industry, hoping the legislation will be a ‘first step’ toward ending exploitation,” the Mainichi report began, before going into a detailed description of the two anonymous performers' alleged experiences.

The report did not identify any specific companies or directors behind the accounts of labor and sexual abuses.

The newspaper then extolled the bill proposed by “a bipartisan group of lawmakers” which not only allows people who agree to appear in “pornographic content” to terminate their contracts, but also requires “video vendors” in such cases to “recover the products and delete the footage.”

Mainichi explained that this novel law “also mandates that a month must pass between the signing of the contract and the filming of the video, and four months between the filming of the video and its public release.”

The original debate concerned amending a law lowering the age of majority by extending additional contract protections specifically to adult performers under 20 years of age. However, this led to a bait-and-switch, which the newspaper candidly spells out in describing this new, universally applicable law: “Although it targets people who appear in porn regardless of age or gender, the lawmakers came up with the bill after Japan lowered the age of adulthood in April, making it no longer possible for 18- and 19-year-olds to cancel contracts to which they have agreed.”

As XBIZ reported, the age-majority bill was passed unanimously in a plenary session of the House of Representatives in late May. Japan’s higher chamber, the House of Councillors, has to deliberate on it before a likely enactment this month.

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