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Voorkant Leheny 'Think global, fear local - Sex, violence, and anxiety in contemporary Japan' David LEHENY
Think global, fear local - Sex, violence, and anxiety in contemporary Japan
Ithaca-London: Cornell University Press, 2006, 230 blzn.;
ISBN-13: 978 08 0147 5344

[Het begint weer met eindeloze dankbetuigingen. Altijd een slecht teken. Relevante definities: enjo kōsai wordt hier omschreven als 'Compensated dating, sometimes understood as prostitution.' Ik richt me alleen op die inhoudelijke lijn, niet op de andere inhoudelijke lijn over terrorisme.]

(1) Chapter One - Fear, norms, and politics in contemporary Japan

"One autumn day [hij heeft het over 1996 - GdG], my subway car was unusually empty. I was sitting alone at one end of the car while three or four other adults sat at the far end. At the second stop after I boarded the train, two attractive schoolgirls, perhaps sixteen or seventeen years old, sat down in the seats across from me. After the doors closed, they stood up and one silently took off her school uniform's jacket and held it around her friend, who then began to strip. This routine is not unusual in coed junior high school classrooms, where students often change before physical education classes, taking turns holding jackets around one another to protect classmates' privacy."(2)

"While I watched - they were about four feet directly in front of me, so it was difficult not to watch - the first girl stripped out of her school uniform down to her underwear, pulled some clothes out of her bag, and changed into them: a different school uniform. She then took her jacket and held it around her classmate, who went through the same routine. I kept looking over to my left, to see if the other people on the train were watching (they were), and whether they seemed alarmed (they did). Within three minutes - the time to the next station - the two girls had completed their little exercise and had sat back down. Passengers arriving on the train in the subsequent stops would have had little idea that anything odd had happened.
I wish I could report that I was scandalized by the girls' behavior, but my intense anxiety reflected more my guilt and revulsion over the voyeuristic pleasure I took in the moment than any real outrage that teenagers might act like that. My astonishment also left me feeling almost vertiginously confused: How could I understand Japan so little, even after living there for several years, that I was unable even to frame a guess as to what these girls were doing? The quick and possibly correct consensus among the Japanese friends I later told was that the girls were traveling to Ikebukuro to engage in enjo kosai, or "compensated dating," a heavily publicized practice in which schoolgirls would reportedly date and possibly sleep with adult men in exchange for cash or presents. According to these friends, by changing their uniforms, the girls were simultaneously disguising their identities so that their teachers would not recognize them at a distance, and using sexier uniforms, or those from higher-class schools, so that they could command higher prices. Like me, the Japanese press found the girls fascinating, and for reasons I will detail later the outcry surrounding compensated dating vastly exceeded the actual scope of the phenomenon. The scandalous behavior of schoolgirls emerged during an anxiety-drenched decade for Japan, in which visible social transformations reinforced concerns over the country's economy and failures of political leadership. Although I was troubled by the brief encounter on the train, it was not out of any concern for the girls. Rather, my reaction seemed to confirm that something was wrong with me, perhaps that I had the predilection for young Asian women that is often assumed to be the carnal root of a white male researcher's interest in Japan. The local debates surrounding "compensated dating" in 1990s' Japan suggest that something vaguely similar was happening to local audiences as well. For many Japanese observers and writers, the emergence of a generation of self-sexualized schoolgirls confirmed that something was wrong with Japan, something that would make these girls behave so extraordinarily. The specter of licentious schoolgirls, engaged in varying levels of criminal mischief, began to merge with larger fears about wayward youth and what their recklessness meant for Japan's future." [mijn nadruk] (2-3)

[Je ziet hier al elementen opduiken die normatief zijn. Waarom moet de auteur zich verontschuldigen dat hij toekeek en het zo benoemen dat het zien van die scène hem zelf twijfel gaf en zo. Waarom kon hij niet gewoon kijken en genieten van wat hij zag? Waarom praten over 'scandalous behavior'? Waarom kon niemand accepteren dat die meisjes dat 'compensated dating' gewoon zelf wilden?]

"Although officials had long wanted the power to police Japanese youth more strictly and to undo the legal and constitutional limits on security forces, they had confronted predictable obstacles from those political forces that feared the state more than they did other potential menaces.
In both cases, however, officials received help from a powerful deus ex machina: international efforts to combat transnational crime. By using the legitimacy of these initiatives - to protect children from commercial sexual exploitation, to constrain transnational terrorist networks - Japanese officials found ways to attach local scapegoats to global solutions." [mijn nadruk] (4)

[De eeuwige smoes: we moeten 'kinderen' beschermen tegen de grote boze wolf, ze mogen dus zelf niets willen, dat is voor hun eigen bestwil. Zucht.]

"Another arena of transnational crime-child prostitution and pornography, especially that involving children in developing nations - had also witnessed significant Japanese countermeasures. Just two years before the September 11 attacks, the National Diet of Japan had passed a law to ban child prostitution and child pornography, largely in response to broad criticism that the government was soft on pedophiles and sex tourists. The new law promised a crackdown on those involved in the sexual exploitation of children, and was followed by widely publicized arrests of lnternet website operators and others deemed culpable in these crimes. Although not a topic with the same Wagnerian overtones as the U.S.-led "war on terror," the sexual exploitation of children, especially the hundreds of thousands in sex markets in Southeast Asia, has been an explosively and justifiably emotional issue for global human rights movements. Japan's ratification of international agreements was taken as evidence that the government was moving in the right direction."(5)

[Die maatregelen kunnen terecht zijn. Maar met al die maatregelen werd ook een 'moral panic' opgepakt en in een bepaalde richting gestuurd.]

" ... although the child prostitution and pornography law ostensibly aimed at cracking down on adult predators of children, the larger social debate in Japan - and subsequent police efforts - suggest that the primary goal was to clamp down on the increasingly ostentatious sexuality ofJapanese teenagers."(5)

[Angst aanjagen is één manier om politiek je gang te kunnen gaan. Generaliserende onware schema's hanteren is een andere manier:]

"We have, for example, the licentious schoolgirls who are not bound by traditional mores and whose entry into sex markets can be halted only with their punishment."(8)

"This is not an unfamiliar phenomenon in the United States. Even before the September 11 attacks, cultural critics suggested that media-driven panics - including those surrounding pedophilia, plane crashes, and young black men - have been crucial tools for political and economic actors eager to market certain commodities or policies as solutions."(9)

"As I began to read more about the phenomenon, I was struck by how the discussions of enjo kosai focused primarily, and sometimes exclusively, on the schoolgirls. To be sure, there were occasional English-language reports that trotted out stereotypes of the pedophiliac tendencies of Japanese "salarymen" (white-collar businessman), but in the Japanese coverage, the spotlight aimed squarely at the girls - why they would behave like this and what kind of society had produced them. Moral responsibility appeared to lie with these "little sluts" (as one Japanese friend half-jokingly described them to me) rather than with their adult boyfriends or customers." [mijn nadruk] (17)

"And so I began to examine the relationship between domestic debates over child sexuality and the government's wish to sign on to international agreements to protect children."(17)

(27) Chapter Two - A 'vague anxiety' in 1990s Japan

De problemen van de 1990-er jaren ("bank closures, the Hanshin earthquake, and the Aum Shinrikyo sarin gas attack" - 29) haalden allerlei zekerheden onderuit over Japan als een harmonieuze en goed geordende samenleving - vooral ook omdat dat toch ook een mythe was die in stand gehouden werd. Die drie gebeurtenisssen worden uitgewerkt.

De rol van de vrouw in Japan veranderde in de jaren 1980-2000.

"Japanese women have long faced employment discrimination, with many younger women expected to leave their positions upon marriage and then becoming reabsorbed as part-time workers, depending on firm needs. This is commonly described as the "M-shaped curve."(198, noot 25)

"Some of the concern, as Sharon Kinsella notes, was certainly related to increased concern about women's professional and personal behavior. By the late 1980s, it was already clear that Japanese women were marrying and becoming pregnant later than before. Within ten years, partly because of public concerns about Japan's declining birth rate, this phenomenon had gone from demographic curiosity to evidence of national decline. Some Japanese commentators began to label such young people as "parasite singles" who prefer to mooch off their parents than to grow up and marry. The public debates have usually focused on the women involved, making them gendered symbols of a selfish generation that refuses even its most basic responsibility of reproducing the nation. These demographic trends had started before 1990, as had the rise, for example, in pregnancies before marriage. But by the 1990s, they were becoming central features in Japanese political and public discourse: unnerving aspects of modern Japan like increases in juvenile crime and divorce."(40)

"Increasingly, this meant attention to a generation that threatened Japan not only through selfishness and irresponsibility but also through their alienation from traditional values and the willingness of some to use brutal violence in acting out their frustrations."(41)

"Aum Shinrikyo's attack neither created nor concluded long-standing debates over Japan's wayward youth. It did, however, serve as something of a turning point in these discussions as well as larger ones about Japan's direction. Coming so soon after the first major financial failures in decades and the Hanshin earthquake, the sarin gas attack helped to redefine debates about Japan's specific problems, turning them into larger themes about Japan's future."(41)

(49) Chapter Three - "Whatever it is, it's bad, so stop it"

"As the heady 1980s turned into the shaky 1990s, a possibly short-term rise in juvenile crime, coupled with a small number of particularly gruesome murders by teens, provoked a fundamental national rethinking of the threat that young people posed. In this chapter, I address especially the increasing image of the social threat that teenage girls presented, arguing that newly troubling images of them were inextricably tied both to large-scale anxiety over the juvenile crime wave and the sexual precociousness of girls and young women. My goal is to focus the discussion of anxiety - which in chapter 2 dwelt on larger national concerns - on a specific topic, that of teenage girls and their most famous, if largely alleged, activity, "compensated dating." It was this arena that proved crucial in Japan's adoption of a major international norm of criminal justice, legislation against the sexual exploitation of children. The selection of the issue strikes me as both fair and appropriate, because if the 1990s are acknowledged as a period of remarkable social change in Japan, the decade could hardly find a more apt symbol than that of the kogal." [mijn nadruk] (50)

[Merkwaardige keuze eigenlijk. Voorbeelden van jeugdcriminaliteit hier eerst gegeven betreffen gewelddadige agressieve jongens. Waarom dan gaan kijken naar de meisjes en hun enjo kōsai waar waarschijnlijk weinig agressie bij te vinden is? Is wat die jongens doen normaal dan? Hoeven we ons daar géén zorgen over te maken? Is dit toch weer niet hetzelfde als in Japan gebeurde: de verantwoordelijkheid van alle ellende bij vrouwen leggen en mannen ontzien? Vreemd, hoor.]

"The English word "girl" or "gal" has, in Japanese, longstanding connotations of worldliness and even immorality; the prefix, ko, either means "little" or is a shortened version of koko (high school), therefore referring to high school girls. "(50)

"Crucially, as an easily recognized image, the kogal could be exploited-to sell fashion magazines, to market the need for tighter control over juveniles, or to indicate a potential direction for the empowerment of women and girls in a patriarchal society. Kogals also became central, if sometimes only implied, figures in a debate over Japan's adherence to a developing international norm regarding child prostitution and child pornography. Because of the links drawn between kogals and enjo kosai ("compensated dating"), in which women and girls are paid for dates and sometimes sex, a number of observers, foreign and Japanese alike, have referred casually to enjo kosai as prostitution, usually by schoolgirls, though this became a complex definitional issue in Japanese politics. The connection, however, complicated the Japanese application of the international norm against the sexual exploitation of children, which became localized in Japan as a wedge for stopping enjo kosai. Interestingly, these efforts ultimately came to include potential punishment for the girls, tagging them as perpetrators rather than simply as victims." [mijn nadruk] (50-51)

"Were the girls victims or villains? Were they seductresses or merely show-offs? Would they grow up to be terrible wives and mothers, or would they simply be reabsorbed into a putatively conservative na- tional family structure? In this chapter I trace the changes in legal and moral conceptions of children, especially girls, and argue that enjo kosai as a practice developed in part as the unintended consequence of sex industry regulations designed specifically to protect the innocence of schoolgirls. The kogals - who stand for alternately rebellion against a crushingly patriarchal social order or an amoral slide from traditional values - played a crucial if primarily iconographic role."(51-52)

Japan heeft een enorme seksindustrie.

[Prostitutie wordt blijkbaar ook onder de seksindustrie gerekend. ]

"One relatively common theme in the popular literature is an overly broad delineation between sexual mores in "the West" and the presumably more free-spirited and tolerant "East". These usually come with some reference to the role of prostitution in Japan's political past or with a generic claim about the difference between Christian and Buddhist judgments about sex. But in Japan, too, there are tough judgments about sex: what is right and wrong, permissible and impermissible, extolled and forbidden. Popular views and public rules about sexuality bear the strong imprint of international - particularly U.S. and European - influences." [mijn nadruk] (52)

[Hoe is dat historisch gegroeid dan? Wat waren de vroegere opvattingen van Japan zelf? En was het niet eerst Europese invloed en na WOII vooral Amerikaanse invloed? In deze tekst staan allerlei oordelen die ik graag onderbouwd zou zien.]

"A caveat is in order. The prevalence of uniformed schoolgirls (or adults dressed as such) in Japanese pornography has only compounded the country's reputation overseas as a nation of pedophiles. In this chapter, I do not examine whether Japan displays more or less pedophiliac tendencies than other advanced industrial nations, and I make no effort to explain why people do or do not find teenagers attractive. Others have traced and explained the special role of "cuteness" (kawaii) in Japan, which undoubtedly affects the shape and size of sex markets involving schoolgirls or their imitators. With regard to the legal and political issues involved, however, I am loath to draw too clear a distinction between Japan and other countries. Japanese schoolgirl outfits resemble those in the United Kingdom or Catholic schools in the United States, where they have been fetishized for years."(53)

"The idea that children deserve special protection grows from a sense that they are not responsible for their moral actions and need to be shielded from some kinds of influences as well as abuses that they are ill-equipped to confront. Some Japanese scholars, even while citing Postman, have been quick to point out that his understanding of the child comes entirely from a Western European and North American cultural context." [mijn nadruk] (54-55)

[Ja, maar de auteur beschrijft dan wel dat die opvattingen door Japan geleidelijk aan zijn overgenomen. Daarna volgt een verhaal over wettelijke veranderingen die ook steeds meer in overeenstemming blijken met de overige landen. Het waarom is alleen niet zo duidelijk. Hij springt echt van de hak op de tak, heel lastig om de lijn te volgen.]

"Any gender-neutral discussion of children, however, will paste over the special role that girls often play in popular understandings of vulnerability, purity, and proper behavior. If girls are viewed as being especially innocent, their perceived transgressions suggest something worse than increased criminal activity; they may be breaking down a social order premised on deeply institutionalized patterns of male-female behavior. This too owes a great deal to historical changes in our definitions of girls, proper sexual behavior, innocence, and deviancy. "(61-62)

[Ja, en wat willen we daar mee zeggen? Om dat uit te leggen gaat het ineens over prostitutie.]

"Although prostitution was openly legal until the middle of the twentieth century, it was considered a socially legitimate occupation only for girls from poor families. The distinction was crucial; sex work was never for the economically comfortable."(62)

"Although some social reformers in the Japanese government were emboldened by anti-prostitution efforts led by the League of Nations after World War I, they made little headway in limiting or criminalizing the sex trade."(62)

[Dan gaat het weer over de wetgeving rondom kinderen. ]

Na WOII proberen de Amerikaanse bezetters (SCAP - Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers) het nationalisme te bestrijden en dingen geregeld te krijgen op een meer lokaal niveau.

"Although the Child Welfare Law established special protections for Japan's children, further encoding their place as social and political innocents, it also shaped and limited the subsequent ability of Japanese officials to keep girls away from sex markets. "(64)

[En dan weer over prostitutie.]

"The 1957 Antiprostitution Law marked Japan's shift from regulation to partial criminalization of sex markets, though this in some ways complicated efforts to prevent underage girls from entering the trade. It also served as an emblem of Japan's presumed adherence to international standards of moral regulation. The international movement to ban prostitution led by religious organizations and women's groups was premised on the perceived violation that sex work represented to human rights and was supported by Japanese Christian and women's activists. Pressure from abroad and within Japan pushed the government to pass the law, particularly because of the United Nations stipulation that prostitution ought to be abolished. One sex industry journalist, Ito Hosaku, angrily faults the Japanese government for having bowed too much to international pressure without thinking properly about the place of the sex industry in Japanese tradition: " [mijn nadruk] (64-65)

[Door aan te sluiten bij de internationale trend anti prostitutie van allerlei religieuze organisaties en de UN gaf Japan zijn eigen praktijk op.]

"Ito Hosaku, the sex industry journalist who criticized the 1957 law for its capitulation to international pressure, makes a crucial point about its effect on the women involved. By banning streetwalking and solicitation but providing exploitable loopholes for brothel-like establishments, the Anti-Prostitution Law contributed to the growing demonization of women in the sex industry. Previously seen as poor but brave women choosing an undesirable lifestyle to support their families, prostitutes were now being viewed as amoral criminals. Ito remarks that the price of international acceptance was turning prostitutes into "castoffs" (kimin). This outcome was not due solely to the law; Japan's steady economic growth in the 1960s and 1970s made it harder to assume that sex workers came from hungry, impoverished families. And so the presumption of virtue and selflessness had to be redefined and reconstrued; there had to be something wrong with these women, something that made them choose to do something so awful. " [mijn nadruk] (66-67)

[Dat is natuurlijk overal zo: waar een activiteit als prostitutie wettelijk veroordeeld wordt, zijn de bedrijvers van die activiteit per definitie illegaal bezig. De stap naar een veroordeling als 'immoreel' is dan meestal niet ver weg. Hosaku ziet het goed. Vermoedelijk wordt de redenering van Leheny nu: dus wordt enjo kōsai óók moreel veroordeeld omdat die praktijk door de media als 'prostitutie' wordt gezien. Wat het zelden is. Maar dat belemmert niemand blijkbaar om die veroordeling uit te spreken.]

"The sex industry has become a crucial political topic specifically when the "wrong kinds" of women or girls have been employed. In the early 1980s, a rash of provocative news articles reported incidents of high school girls working in hostess bars and similar establishments. Already alarmed by increases in juvenile delinquency, the National Police Agency pushed for reform of the law governing sex-oriented and other entertainment firms.(...) In 1984, it had the LDP introduce into the Diet a revision of the Fuzoko Eigyo Ho (literally, the Enterprises Affecting Public Morals Law, but perhaps more accurately conveyed as Sex-Oriented Business Management Law). This gave the Diet the opportunity to respond publicly to growing reports that schoolgirls were beginning to work in sex businesses by debating the revision of the 1963 law governing licensing of these businesses. The revision ultimately drove the establishment of new technologies - such as the "message dial" systems described below - making it even harder to prevent teens from entering the trade as amateur sex workers. The law's revision required businesses to shut down operations anywhere near schools or residential zones, and posted heavy fines for allowing in anyone under the age of eighteen. Although Jiizoku can be defined to mean any "enterprises affecting public morals" (including game centers or pachinko parlors), the toughest stipulations were directed at "bathhouses with individual rooms [soaplands], strip bars and sex show theaters, 'love hotels,' adult toy stores, massage parlors with in- dividual rooms, and the like." (...) The revised law also gave an additional boost to a new kind of business, known as the terekura, or telephone club." [mijn nadruk] (68-69)

[Met andere woorden: óf de betrokkenen maken dat die activiteiten onzichtbaar worden - met alle nare gevolgen van dien -, óf de betrokkenen verzinnen allerlei nieuwe wegen om hun ding te doen. Regulatie is dus helemaal niet zo simpel. Dingen illegaal maken heeft vaak onverwachte gevolgen.]

"These media were rapidly successful and fed into a growing trend toward a kind of part-time sex work in which women could make contact with men and then choose to date or have sex with them for money. (...) By the early 1990s, it had become apparent what the new telephone clubs were allowing people to do: to engage in sex work part time, as "amateurs," rather than as "professionals" employed by the standard sex-oriented businesses.(...) the reference to boredom unexpectedly captures something important about enjo kosai: that it is difficult to reduce the phenomenon to strict notions of prostitution." [mijn nadruk] (69-70)

"Telephone clubs, enjo kosai, and the like have now been firmly established as fiizoku phenomena, and are at least as recognizable as soaplands, "fashion health" clubs, and porno videos. Enjo kosai has typically relied on the development of the dengon daiyaru systems and telephone dating clubs that keep clients away from the women until there has been some agreement about the extent and cost of the liaison. It was perhaps only a matter of time before teenage girls began to use these systems; they can generally command much higher prices than housewives or twenty-something office ladies, and uniformed schoolgirls in Japan had been seen as sex objects for at least a decade. The privacy and ease of these new technologies offered women and girls the possibility of earning thousands of dollars quickly, making the potential financial benefits of enjo kosai extremely seductive." [mijn nadruk] (70)

"Although enjo kosai, particularly as practiced by the kogals, ultimately became the linchpin in the debate over Japan's acquiescence to the norm against the commercial sexual exploitation of children, it was never as simple an activity as its many critics would have it. "(71)

[Zo is het. Je kunt zelfs de vraag stellen wie nu eigenlijk wie exploiteert in dat soort enjo kōsai-relaties.]

"As a matter of law, it is not entirely clear why enjo kosai had to be a problem. The national age of sexual consent in Japan is thirteen, though the local obscenity regulations effectively raise this in many prefectures; as noted, the Anti-Prostitution Law is silent on sex-for-cash transactions. Moreover, it is sometimes difficult to identify precisely where the crime in an enjo kosai liaison takes place. Even if prostitution itselfwere criminal, enjo kosai is often ambiguous enough as a phenomenon that it would be difficult to stipulate whether it too would be prohibited." [mijn nadruk] (71)

"Referring to a local initiative to crack down on enjo kosai, one young commentator and journalist, Fujii Yoshiki, said in a 1998 interview:
In Osaka, the government set up the "Enjo kosai is prostitution" [baishun] campaign. But enjo kosai is not that simple a problem. It absolutely doesn't just equal prostitution. Let's say that a sixteen-year- old schoolgirl goes out for a dinner date with a thirty-three-year-old man, and he gives her ¥10,000 [about $80]. Is that prostitution? How about going to a karaoke box [private karaoke room] and letting him touch her breasts, and then getting ¥20,000? What if it's not her breasts, but her genitals, and no money changes hands, but he buys her some clothes? This is about the diversity of sexual activity, so it's a really complex problem. Anyway, the "Enjo kosai is prostitution" campaign should just be called "Anyway, whatever it is, it's bad, so stop it!" campaign."(72)

[Het probleem werd zwaar overdreven. Ook de aantallen deelnemende scholieren bleken zwaar overdreven.]

"Indeed, most of the public discourse about enjo kosai appears to be motivated by a fundamental fear of the ostentatious sexuality of the high school girls involved. A new "type" of Japanese high school girl - the kogal -had emerged as the symbol of enjo kosai. The kogal style - discussed below - is visually distinctive and noticeable. And unlike the debates over child pornography and prostitution in Asia that fuelled the creation of the international anti-child porn movement, the enjo kosai discourses focus only minimally on the consequences of enjo kosai for the girls themselves. Instead, the essential debate is over what the emergence of the kogals - symbols of materialism, or a decline in traditional values, or gender equality, or moral relativism - says about Japan and Japan's future. "(73)

[Precies, de discussie gaat eigenlijk helemaal niet over seks van scholieren, maar over een verandering van cultuur onder jongeren waarmee ouderen moeite hadden. Behalve als ze er van konden profiteren natuurlijk ... ]

"For many of the conservatives, the great risk of enjo kosai was not to the participants themselves, but rather to Japan. After all, these kogals would grow up and be wives and mothers: "(75)

[Typisch. Hou ze achter het aanrecht en eronder ...]

"Like the conservatives, a number of academic and liberal authors have expressed concern about what enjo kosai means for Japan's future - though they shift blame away from the girls and toward the materialistic society that produced their mad drive for Versace bags."(75-76)

"All of them are worried about the risks to the girls involved in enjo kosai, and all take the girls seriously in some sense as agents. Unlike the conservatives, none places moral responsibility for their behavior on the girls themselves; it is instead the fault of a capitalist economy saturated with advertisements and the omnipresent demand for consumption."(78)

"While not disagreeing with the basic premise that enjo kosai's exis- tence suggests that there is something terribly wrong with Japanese society, a number of feminist scholars have gone further than Miyadai's and Murakami's reluctance to criticize the girls' decision to engage in the practice. Instead, they see the girls' choices as acts of resistance. Ueno Chizuko, for example, acknowledges the potential dangers of enjo kosai as well as the rather blatantly materialist impulses of the participants, but argues that the schoolgirls derive from it a sense of power and of control over themselves and their bodies. Another writer, Hayami Yukiko, suggests that the behavior of these girls has to be, if not lauded, understood as a rejection of control that is exerted on girls and women in Japan. From this perspective, if enjo kosai is to be understood as a problem (and Ueno and other feminists are highly alert to the dangers faced by the girls involved), it should be handled differently than would-be regulators on all sides would have it. Rather than taking legal steps to ban enjo kosai, whether for the sake of the girls involved or for Japan's future, people ought to be concerned with providing children with the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions. For many liberal and feminist authors, the real solution would have to be sex education that could allow juveniles to avoid sexual abuse while still exercising autonomy over their own bodies. " [mijn nadruk] (79)

"In chapter 4, I turn to the role the kogals - still a source of social anxiety - came to play when left-leaning activists began to criticize the Japanese government to get it to crack down on sex tourism for pedophiles in Southeast Asia. Surprisingly, the global effort to abolish the sexual exploitation of children became a political tool at home, one aimed as much at bringing Japanese teens in line with local expectations as at bringing Japanese laws into line with global ones. "(82)

[Waaraan je kunt zien dat links het ook niet altijd bij het rechte eind heeft met zijn nadruk op mensenrechten. Het pleidooi voor 'mensenrechten' leidt gemakkelijk ook tot conservatieve invullingen ervan.]

(85) Chapter Four - Guidance, protection, and punishment in Japans child sex laws

"The international regulation of sex has always been a special kind of problem, drawing together uncomfortable and unstable configurations of race, gender, and power.(...) Because this effort at prohibition was inextricably linked to conservative attempts to protect patterns of social order, it has not been remembered fondly by either gender theorists or historians."(86)

"This criticism owes at least something to the collapse of the old feminist consensus regarding the harm inflicted by prostitution. Until fairly recently, the dominant line of feminist thought held that prostitution reflected pure gender domination. Additionally, the unequal gender relations involved had clear implications for the economic, political, and social well-being of women. Although many liberal and Marxist feminists in the 1970s took a more permissive tone toward prostitution, most radical feminists continued to deplore it, suggesting that it not only harmed the women involved but all women, as it promoted a view of women as commodifiable sex objects. Only with the development of a libertarian feminism emphasizing the issue of choice, combined with the sex trade workers' movement of the 1990s (such as the organization COYOTE- Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics), did a sustained defense of prostitution, often conceptualized as "sex work," take place within feminism and gender studies, fields that are now deeply divided over the issue.
Yet this disagreement collapses when the issue involves children. Whether it is against "child prostitution," "child pornography," or "child sex tourism" (especially "Asian child sex tourism," which has a notorious reputation in this regard), the growing momentum of an international movement has been unmistakable. To some degree, the fervor arises from moralistic campaigns to regulate sexuality, especially that of women and children, but there is little doubt that a commitment to "child welfare" now features prominently in these efforts." [mijn nadruk] (86-87)

"To push the child welfare line more effectively and to put the spotlight on children employed in the sex trade, activists created a bona fide transnational movement aimed at child protection. Leading the child sex crusade has been End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT), an international NGO with its world headquarters in Bangkok. ECPAT was founded in 1991 primarily by three Asian Christian groups - the Christian Conference of Asia, the Asia Catholic Bishops' Conference, and the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism and chose a child sex trade activist and Disciples of Christ pastor from New Zealand, Ron O'Grady, as the group's coordinator. A few years later, the declaration of the UN International Conference on Population and Development prominently featured language on children's rights, including freedom from trafficking and sexual abuse."(88)

[Hoezo is een organisatie als ECPAT die christelijke opvattingen vertegenwoordigt bona fide? Zo gauw religies zich opwerpen als de bescherming van kinderen, nou dan weten we het wel. Dan moeten kinderen weer onschuldige seksloze wezentjes worden die we zelfs niet seksueel moeten voorlichten en die zonder ooit iets aan seks gedaan te hebben het huwelijksbootje in moeten stappen, niet om van seks te genieten natuurlijk, maar om zich voort te planten.]

Er bestond internationaal veel kritiek op de lakse houding van Japan tegenover kinderporno en kinderprostitutie. De ECPAT speelde een grote rol in die kritiek.

"Japanese child pornography inspired international contempt not because there was no regulatory system to prevent it but because Japanese law skewed outcomes and made it safer to use poor children from other Asian nations. Its fully international character meant that virtually anything produced in Japan could be seen elsewhere, potentially inspiring pedophiles of all nationalities, and the children most clearly victimized were from the Southeast Asian nations where much of the work of the movement to stop child prostitution was concentrated. "(90)

"Yet some of these same activists were among the only public critics of the 1999 legislation. ECPAT-Kansai [een meer liberale afdeling van ECPAT in Osaka, Japan - GdG] , for example, claimed that it was not a law about sexual abuse but a "bill to eradicate enjo kosai." These activists thought the proposed legislation had been hijacked by lawmakers hoping to use it as an opportunity to ban compensated dating."(92)

[Merkwaardig verhaal ...]

"The local obscenity laws tend to take a sweeping approach to the sexuality of teenagers. These regulations in effect override Japan's national age of consent (thirteen) by stressing that sexual commerce with anyone under the age of eighteen - even if not prohibited by national law - violates community standards as well as the ''wholesome upbringing" (kenzen ikusei) of children. Notably, police have been able to use these regulations informally against the children through hodo [een soort vermaningssysteem - GdG] , even though the punishments have been minimal and embedded in a paternalistic environment of "advice" to the vulnerable. By the mid-1990s, police and other officials argued that these rules simply could not provide enough of a legal framework to halt the growing enjo kosai trade. Across the nation, local governments began to take different steps to stop the practice. By creating a patchwork quilt of rules regarding sexual commerce with children, these governments produced remarkably uneven handling of enjo kosai, with some cities and prefectures far stricter than others."(93)

"Whether through enhanced "guidance" of the girls involved, tightened restrictions on sex-oriented businesses, or zealous use of obscenity regulations, most of Japan's prefectures had adopted specific anti-enjo kosai measures by 1997. By this time, almost any sexual activity between an adult and a child under the age of eighteen could be prosecuted, in one way or another, in any prefecture of Japan, with the exceptions of Tokyo and Nagano."(94)

"It was with much fanfare, then, that the Tokyo metropolitan government - often criticized for being too permissive of teen sex markets - passed new regulations to deal with enjo kosai in late 1997. These new rules targeted primarily customers and intermediaries, not the children themselves ...(...) Even so, the focus on customers rather than on the schoolgirls was in many ways a welcome and desirable shift for child welfare advocates. "(94-95)

[Maar het waren dus dubbelzinnige maatregelen: ]

"At least some (and perhaps most) of the political impetus behind the various enjo kosai crackdowns reflected a discomfort with the appearance and behavior of Japan's girls and young women, concerns that sat uneasily alongside those efforts to protect juveniles from sexual exploitation."(95-96)

"When the 1999 bill outlawing child pornography and child prostitution passed in the Diet, several observers immediately heralded Japan's adherence to international standards on the sexual exploitation of children, referring specifically to Japan's place as an honored member of the international community. "(110)

"Critics of Japanese sexual mores might point to the continued fetishization of schoolgirl uniforms and the sprawling openness of a sex industry that seems to be exceptionally visible in almost any urban area, arguing that Japan remains fundamentally unchanged in its patterns of sexual commerce and gender inequality."(112)

[De laatste drie hoofdstukken van het boek gaan over het tweede onderwerp: de aanpak van terrorisme in Japan. Dat onderwerp heeft niet mijn belangstelling.]

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