Tokyo considers game ratings

Amid US furore

Industry website today reports from Japan on the latest initiatives being considered there to restrict the sale of adult-content videogames to minors. Osaka, Ishikawa, and Saitama prefectures are already considering new bills to restrict the sale of ultra-violent games, whilst Tokyo authorities are now also considering their options. Like the USA, Japan currently offers no enforcement of ratings at a national level, but games like GTA are prompting similar debates among lawmakers, increasingly mindful of public concern surrounding the impact of adult games upon youngsters.

Tokyo are planning to introduce new violent game labelling in stores, which will act as further warning beyond the current self-policing of Japan's CERO ratings. CESA are already urging retailers to check ID when selling mature-content games, however loopholes and ambiguities exist in the current system. That said, Tokyo officials are only planning to introduce the new labels with trade body CESA's backing, indicating that the power to censor games still lies within the industry, unlike new proposals being made stateside.

"It's best to leave the judgment to the industry's voluntary efforts," a spokesman is quoted as concluding.


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