Japanese computer game featuring rape creates international outcry
By Yomiuri Shimbun
May 10, 2009
TOKYO – A Japanese computer game in which players rape women and girls, impregnate them and then force them to get abortions has stirred international criticism among human rights groups and lawmakers.
New York-based human rights organization Equality Now has demanded that the sale of the game, developed by a Yokohama-based firm in 2006, be banned in Japan and overseas.
The game has been discussed by overseas human rights organizations.
In Britain, lawmakers learned that the game could be purchased on Amazon.com and proposed a motion in Parliament in February expressing their opposition to domestic distribution of the game.
Following that move – widely reported in the British media and other countries – Britain-based Amazon.co.uk halted the sale of the game later that month, with a similar decision made by the Amazon headquarters in the United States soon after.
In Japan, however, regulation of child pornography is lax, so the game is still available on online shopping sites, even though Amazon Japan recently halted sales.
In early May, Equality Now released a statement saying that in Japan the gaming industry profits from games featuring violence against girls and women. It also criticized the growing market for pornography found in Japan known as roricon, or "Lolita complex," which has a child pornography theme.
Last week, Equality Now began asking its members to send letters of protest to those who make and sell games that feature violation of women, such as rape and confinement.
It called for letters of protest to be sent to the game's maker, companies that sell such games, Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan and other senior government officials.