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Japanese Police Agency Investigates Video Games

Japanese Police Agency Investigates Video Games

April 13, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

April 13, 2006 | By Jason Dobson
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More: Console/PC

It seems as if the U.S. isn't the only place where video games have come under investigation by political bodies and activist groups. According to a translated report on consumer game site IGN, Japan's National Police Agency is currently investigating the effects playing video games and watching anime have on children.

Currently being led by former deputy governor of Tokyo, Yutaka Takehana, the police-sponsored group met on April 10 in Tokyo to discuss topics such as violent video games and sexual content on the internet.

Although historically, there has been relatively little controversy in Japan regarding in-game violence and other disputed content, concerns have been raised in the current generation - inevitably centering around Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series. The first two PlayStation 2 games in the series were released by Capcom in Japan and became minor hits, although the sale of Grand Theft Auto III was banned from being sold to anyone under the age of eighteen in two separate Japanese prefectures.

As a result of the bans, the Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA), the Japanese counterpart to the ESRB, suggested a voluntary program to prevent the sale of games rated over eighteen to minors. Earlier this year, the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO) in Japan opted to implement a new ratings system for video games sold in the country, presumably based on the proposal by the CESA, and showing continued sensitivity around the issue.

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