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Japan curbs erotic poses and swimsuits

The recent introduction of provisional rules by the Saitama Prefecture in Japan for swimsuit photo shoots it has generated a debate and diverse reactions in the artistic community and among feminist activists. These rules, which include explicit images for “poses not allowed” and “swimwear not allowed”have been designed to govern the photographic sessions scheduled for the months of September to October in three of the main parks managed by the prefecture.


The Prefectural Association of Parks and Green Spaces took the initiative to announce these provisional rules with the aim of establishing clear guidelines for photo shoots in these public places. Until now, only one of the parks had implemented specific rules for photo ops, but the decision to unify these rules and carry them out at the other parks has been welcomed by some, while criticized by others as restrictive and potentially censorious.

Controversy arises around the description of “non-permitted poses” and “non-permitted swimsuits”, which have been lewdly illustrated in the guidelines. The top of the illustrations feature three types of swimsuits that have been labeled “NG” (not allowed), leading some to question the objectivity of these restrictions. In addition to swimsuits, it is stressed that even if models are wearing suitable swimsuits, they should avoid poses that are considered “extreme” or “inappropriate”.

  • Banned swimsuits:

The political response has also been notorious, with women from the Japanese Communist Party expressing concern about the limitation of artistic freedom and the objectification of models in these shoots. Despite its efforts to shut down swimsuit photo shoots in swimming pools in recent months, the new rules have been seen as a step forward by the government, sparking discontent among certain feminist groups.

  • Prohibited poses (even if you have a bathing suit allowed):

Governor Motohiro Ono addressed this situation by instructing companies that do not comply with the rules to withdraw their requests for photo shoots. After reviewing the results after the sessions scheduled for the months of September and October of this year, a panel of experts will review the situation in February 2024 and establish whether these new rules will become official or be withdrawn.

As the debate continues and the interim rules are implemented in the September and October photo sessions, It remains to be seen how this move will affect the arts industry, the prospects of models, and the dynamics between feminist groups and government authorities in Saitama..

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