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East Press Inc. issue


In 2008, Rironsha, a long-established publisher of conscientious children's books, published Hito wa Mina, Hadaka ni Naru. as part of its "Yorimichi Pan! Se" series. The book was written by Baksheesh Yamashita, a famous director of violent adult videos, and was aimed at young people, with the concept of talking about sex. In response, the director of a women's protection facility and others protested, launching a campaign to have the book taken out of print and recalled, garnering more than 10,000 signatures.

Rironsha did not listen to the arguments of the protesters at all, and in the discussions they dismissed the protests, calling them "fascism and an infringement of freedom of expression." (For more details, please see the "Rironsha Issues" page.)

However, Rironsha subsequently went bankrupt, leaving the "Yorimichi Pan! Se" series in limbo. However, since this series was also a cash cow for the company, East Press ultimately bought the rights and decided to republish the entire series. (Incidentally, Rironsha has since been restructured with new management, and now takes a stance that is distinct from that of the old Rironsha.)

Request, negotiation, response

When our group heard this information, we felt that if the book was to be republished, we did not want Bakshish Yamashita's Hito wa Mina Hadaka Ni Naru to be included, so in 2011 we submitted a request to the company asking them not to republish it ( Document 1 ). However, we received no response, and then in 2012 we visited the company to discuss the matter, but even then East Press rejected our request. After this negotiation, we submitted a questionnaire ( Document 2 ) as the "Group for Considering Pornography Victims and Sexual Violence" and asked for an official response from East Press, which was received at the end of February 2012 in the name of the president of East Press ( Document 3 ). (However, the date of the response in this document is incorrectly written as 2011.)


In addition, this response also included an attachment, a personal memorandum from the editor in charge at the time of the publication of Baksheesh Yamashita's work in 2008 (which completely justifies the publication of Baksheesh Yamashita's work), but as this is a personal note, we will refrain from publishing it.

The content was basically what we had expected, taking for granted the fact that pornography exists openly and the reprinting of Baksheesh Yamashita's work in the name of "freedom of expression," and denouncing those who protest as "Nazism."

Also, if you compare it with our questionnaire, you will see that East Press's response does not include any evaluation of Baksheesh Yamashita's violent videos themselves (it only says that they were not produced by them), and therefore does not say anything about the social meaning of republishing a book about "sex" aimed at young people by someone who made a name for himself by filming such violent videos. Even though this was the core of the question in our questionnaire.

However, I think it was significant that they expressed their views in this way as an official document. In the Rironsha case, we did not ask for such an official response, so the other side only expressed their side's side verbally, and even if we wanted to criticize them, we had to refer to our own notes, which made it a question of "said or not." Since it is an official document issued in the name of the president, it is very important to take it up and make appropriate criticisms. This clearly shows how the theory of "freedom of expression" has been distorted and abused, and turned into a "privilege of the strong."

Future outlook

Now, in order to gather widespread criticism, we have sent this response to those who are related to us and asked for their opinions. We have already received many opinions, and we plan to introduce them on this website as they come in. This issue has also been taken up in the magazine Weekly Friday, and a debate is unfolding around it ( Document 4 ).

Following this response, we later sent a letter to East Press inquiring about several points, including the date mistake, and received a second response from East Press. However, although the second response acknowledged the date mistake, it rejected the other points.

Furthermore, this second response was filled with a number of bizarre insults directed at our association, such as "totalitarian and fanatical arrogance and aggressiveness," "the perversity and deception that are routinely seen in totalitarian states and organizations," "despicable and fanatical," and "extraordinary stubbornness and aggressiveness," and finally threatened to file lawsuits and criminal charges, which is a clear indication of the nature of this company.

We will not succumb to such threats, and we intend to continue to take up the East Press issue and develop a campaign of criticism. As with Rironsha, this issue is not a problem of one publisher, but clearly shows the abnormality of today's Japanese society, where violent pornography is defended as simply "expression." We ask for your continued cooperation.

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