Monday, February 17, 2014

An LDP Trying To Take Sexual Images Seriously

With more and more devices being equipped with camera lenses, astonishing data capacity of even tiny items and the transnational space of the Internet, the question of the legal status of uploaded still and motion imagery of one's private sexual behavior is not trivial, particularly in this blessed land where a reputation is still a highly valued if schizophrenically protected asset.

Nevertheless, the shoulders bunch up at Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council announcing the establishment of a Special Committee on Revenge Porno (Ribenji poruno tokumei iinkai) studying what the government can do, if anything, about the uploading of private sexual content to the Internet (Link - J). It might be because of the gratuitous use of loan words in the name of the committee -- gratuitous in that if the effort were sincere there would be a recognizable kanji-based description of the subject being tackled. Perhaps it is because LDP Policy Research Chair Takaichi Sanae's discussing almost any subject tenses the shoulders (NHK had her and the other party policy chiefs on Nichiyo Toron yesterday -- and her every pose and utterance telegraphed her contempt and boredom at the proceedings).

Most likely, however, it is the announcement that the chairman of the special committee on "revenge porno" will be Hirasawa Katsuei.

While there are likely defensible expertise and organizational reasons why Hirasawa might be qualified to lead the committee, it would seem reasonable, given the delicate nature of the assumed offense, to choose a standard bearer who could conceivably be a victim -- or at least would not lead the lay person to titter at the absurdity the thought of the standard bearer ever being a victim. Sadly, of all the members of the LDP, Hirasawa has to be least plausible potential victim of the uploading of his/her private sexual content -- the only "revenge" being what the imagery would be doing to the viewer's retinas and brain. To be fair, the party has named Mihara Junko, a far more plausible potential victim to be Hirasawa's lieutenant. (Link - J)

The announcement of the formation of this committee reeks of insincerity, trendiness and desperation. It is is too small an issue -- at least as packaged -- for Takaichi or even Hirasawa to be handling. That Takaichi feels it necessary to show she has a grip on this problem indicates either she has no sense of proportion or that much of the heavy lifting of policy making has been taken away from the LDP policy research council.

The latter possibility, where a defanged LDP PARC has ceded to the Cabinet and the Prime Minister's myriad advisory committees the role of policy incubator undercuts LDP President Abe Shinzo's favorite talking point on his commitment to women's empowerment. He never stops reminding audiences of his having appointed Takaichi and Noda Seiko, the chair of the General Council, to high party posts. That these posts have nowhere near their former importance (the General Council seeimng to be a body in search of a purpose, given the demise of the factions) would be a most inconvenient truth for the PM to face.

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