Because a national program to protect children from the dangers of the Web and mobile telephony is like soooooooo last week.
Fresh from a globe-girdling brouhaha over the prime minister's education revitalization panel's highlighting of the dangers that unsupervised use of Internet-enabled mobile telephones pose for elementary and middle school children, the ruling and opposition parties put aside their mutual disdain for one another yesterday (June 2) in order to agree to pass a bold new law...that will not create national standards for Internet content. In a non-partisan show of their mounting concern, the parties have agreed that third parties (corporate-NPO partnerships) -- and not the Government -- should craft recommendations for manufacturers on how to improve their technology for filtering the content of websites and text communications.
Furthermore, to demonstrate their determination to protect the children of Japan from the threats posed by the new communications technologies, the ruling and opposition parties agreed that the legislation mandate the installation of filtering software in all new communications and web access devices. It will also require that operators of servers comply with the development of means to prevent children from accessing sites deemed harmful.
Non-compliance with these new, strict regulations will carry no penalties, of course.
Could they have not at least waited a little while longer before showing their actual lack of concern regarding this latest inflated social crisis? There was hardly enough time for the television networks to put together the usual hailstorm of half-hour reports on the various ways the Internet is corrupting and killing people.
By agreeing to pass a toothless law just before the expiration of the Diet session, it is as though the entire political class were trying to establish new national standards for...blasé insincerity.