Japan

Japan: Rape simulator games and the normalization of sexual violence

Action Number: 
33.2
Update: 
UPDATE
Date: 
2009 Sep 1
Update: 

Following Equality Now's campaign the Japan Ethics Organisation of Computer Software (EOCS), whose members consist of 90% of the Japanese adult content computer game producers, banned the production and sale of games such as RapeLay and other games which simulate sexual violence. Although its regulations do not apply to non-EOCS producers, partners have informed us that owners of the majority of retail stores selling these games have stated they do not sell games by non-EOCS producers.

In addition, The Komei Party which was a member of the Japanese coalition government at the time, held a committee meeting on the issue of rape simulation games and created the Committee Working Towards a Child Safe World and Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Law Revision Committee, in response.

Our partners have stated that, "if a group based in Japan had initiated this campaign, a similar response from the Japanese government and the media would have been unlikely."


“Women are stupid creatures who don’t know how to do anything other than cook us dinner. This just proves their stupidity; they need to realize that the word ‘equality’ was a word created by men for men, and was never meant to be used by, referred to, or given to women.” (Online game blogger responding to Equality Now’s Women’s Action against rape simulator games in Japan)

What You Can Do: 

Please write to the Japanese government officials below, calling on them to comply with Japan’s obligations under CEDAW, including the recent strong exhortation of the CEDAW Committee to ban games and cartoons that normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls. In your letter to the Minister of Justice ask her also to inquire about the requested investigation into the apparent gang rape video sent by Equality Now to the Tokyo police department, and ask that her office investigates this and other actual rape videos to ensure that all those involved are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Please also continue to write to Illusion Software asking it to withdraw immediately from sale all games which involve rape, stalking or other forms of sexual violence or which otherwise denigrate women. Suggest that corporations have a responsibility to consider, as good business practice, any negative impact their activities may have on society and the public interest. Please write a similar letter to Amazon Japan.

Mr. Tadashi Yoshimura
Managing Director
Illusion Software
1-10-1 Nishikanagawa Kanagawa-ku
Yokohama-city, Kanagawa 221-0822, Japan
Tel: (+81) (0)4-5322-1551
Email: illuon@illuon.jp, info@illuon.jp

Sample letter to Illusion Software

Mr. Jasper Cheung
President of Amazon Japan K.K
2-15-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-000-2, Japan
Email: via website

Sample letter to Amazon Japan

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
2-3-1 Nagata-Cho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo 100-0014, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-3581-0101
Fax: (+81)(0)3-3581-3883
Email: via website

Sample letter to the Prime Minister

Ms. Keiko Chiba
Minster of Justice
1-1-1 Kasumigaseki,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8977, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-3580-4111
Fax: (+81)(0)3-3592-7393
Email: webmaster@moj.go.jp

Sample letter to the Minister of Justice

Women's Action 33.1: May 2009

Japan: Rape simulator games and the normalization of sexual violence

Action Number: 
33.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
2009 May 1
Update: 

Equality Now responds to reactions to its Women's Action on rape simulator games.

Additionally, Equality Now is pleased to offer the update that Illusion Software appears to have removed RapeLay from its website. However we have no official confirmation from the company that the game has been permanently removed and it continues to sell other similar titles based on rape, stalking and the sexual molestation of women and girls. We continue to call on the company to remove permanently from its business and all retail outlets those games, including RapeLay, that promote violence against women and girls.

A schoolgirl around 12 years old travels on a commuter train. A man who has been following her gropes and sexually molests her. Eventually the train stops and she runs frightened into a public toilet, followed by her assailant who handcuffs and rapes her. The assailant takes her prisoner and repeatedly rapes her in various locations. Her mother and teenaged sister suffer the same fate. This family is targeted for rape as punishment because the older sister had previously reported to the police the attempted sexual assault of another woman by the rapist.

What You Can Do: 

Please write to Illusion Software asking it to withdraw immediately from sale, whether online or any other outlets, all games, including RapeLay, which involve rape, stalking or other forms of sexual violence or which otherwise denigrate women. Suggest that corporations have a responsibility to consider, as good business practice, any negative impact their activities may have on society and the public interest. Please write a similar letter to Amazon Japan asking it to remove all games that simulate sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls. Write also to the Japanese government officials below, calling on them to comply with Japan’s obligations under CEDAW and the Japanese Constitution to eliminate discrimination against women and particularly to ban the sale of computer games such as RapeLay, which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls.

Mr. Tadashi Yoshimura
Managing Director
Illusion Software
1-10-1 Nishikanagawa Kanagawa-ku
Yokohama-city, Kanagawa 221-0822, Japan
Tel: (+81) (0)4-5322-1551
Email: illusion@illusion.jp

Mr. Jasper Cheung
President of Amazon Japan K.K
2-15-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-000-2, Japan
Email: via website

Prime Minister Taro Aso
2-3-1 Nagata-Cho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-0014, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-3581-0101
Fax: (+81)(0)3-3581-3883
Email: via website

Mr. Eisuke Mori
Minster of Justice
1-1-1 Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8977, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-3580-4111
Fax: (+81)(0)3-3592-7393
Email: webmaster@moj.go.jp

Ms. Yuko Obuchi
Minister of State for Social Affairs and Gender Equality
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8914, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-5253-2111
E-mail: via website

With a copy to:
Ms. Seiko Noda
Minister of Consumer Affairs
1-6-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8914, Japan
Tel: (+81)(0)3-5253-2111

Letters: 

Sample letter to Illusion Software:

Dear Mr Yoshimura,

I am writing to express my serious concern about the production and sale by Illusion Software of computer games such as RapeLay, whose purpose is to perpetrate simulated rape and sexual violence against women. Rape is a crime of violence that causes deep distress and harm to those who experience it. By trivializing rape in this way Illusion Software could appear to be promoting and even condoning such acts of violence against women.

It is widely acknowledged, including by the Japanese government, that media representations of women as objects of sex and/or violence have, “a great impact” on negative gender stereotypes. Games such as those described, produced by Illusion Software, contribute to normalizing the objectification of women and strengthen harmful cultural and societal attitudes towards women and girls.

Corporations have a responsibility to consider as good business practice any negative impact their activities may have on society and the public interest. I ask that Illusion Software immediately withdraw from production and sale all games that normalize and promote violence against women and girls.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely, 

______________________

Sample letter to Amazon Japan:

To Amazon:

I am writing to welcome the recent removal by Amazon Japan of RapeLay, a computer game produced by Illusion Software in which the player has to simulate raping a mother and her two daughters. I would like however to express my serious concern about the continued sale by Amazon Japan of other computer games whose purpose is to perpetrate acts of sexual violence against women, such as sexual stalking and molestation. Sexual violence including rape and molestation are serious crimes that cause deep distress and harm to those who experience them. By promoting violence against women in this way Amazon Japan could appear to be condoning it.

It is widely acknowledged, including by the Japanese government, that media representations of women as objects of sex and/or violence have, “a great impact” on gender stereotypes. Games such as those described which are offered for sale by Amazon Japan, contribute to normalizing the objectification of women and strengthen negative cultural and societal attitudes towards women and girls. Amazon is an internationally recognized company and as such should hold itself to the highest levels of corporate responsibility, including to consider, as good business practice, any negative impact its activities may have on society and the public interest.

I ask that Amazon Japan immediately withdraw from sale all games that simulate sexual and other forms of violence against women and girls.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

______________________

Sample letter to government officials:

Dear [name]

I am writing to express my serious concern about the sale in Japan of computer games such as RapeLay, produced by Illusion Software, which involve rape and sexual violence against women.

Japan has an obligation under Article 5(a) of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) “to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women.” Representations of women as objects of sex and/or violence have a great impact on negative gender stereotypes, as accepted by the Japanese government during Japan’s last periodic review by the CEDAW Committee. Article 14 of the Japanese Constitution also guarantees equality under the law and states that there shall be no “discrimination in political, economic or social relations because of race, creed, sex, social status or family origin.”

I would therefore respectfully urge the Japanese government to comply with its obligations under CEDAW by promoting positive images of women as equal members of society, by establishing measures and policies to eliminate all discrimination against women and particularly by banning the sale of computer games such as RapeLay which normalize and promote sexual violence against women and girls.

Thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

 

Japan: The Death of Maricris Sioson

Action Number: 
4.1
Update: 
Not an update
Date: 
1993 Dec 1

The case of Maricris Sioson—her life, her death, and the inaction of the Japanese government despite medical evidence of homicide - is a tragic illustration of the vulnerability of the tens of thousands of Filipino women working in Japan's entertainment industry.

What You Can Do: 

Please bring this case to the attention of the media and the general public. Contact the following Japanese authorities, and the Japanese embassy in your country, expressing your concern over the death of Maricris Sioson and the failure of the Japanese government to investigate the clear evidence that she died of unnatural causes. Call for an investigation of Maricris Sioson's death, and prosecution of those responsible, to demonstrate the commitment of the Japanese government to uphold the rule of law and ensure that justice is done for Maricris Sioson and her family. Letters and petitions should be addressed to the following authorities:

Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto
Prime Minister
1-6-1 Nagata-cho
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Eiichi Moriyama
Chief Prosecutor
Fukushima Local Prosecutors Office
(Chiho kensatuscho)
17 Kitsunezuka
960 Fukushima, Japan

Mr. Yukihiko Ikeda
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2-2-1 Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

Mr. Takaji Kunimatsu
Commissioner General
The National Police Agency
2-1-2 Kasumigaseki
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, Japan

 

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