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Draft bill not to include 18- and 19-year-olds’ right to back out of adult video contract

  • April 21, 2022
  • , Asahi
  • JMH Translation

By Hisanaga Ryuichi


With the revised Civil Code that came into force in April, lowering the legal age of adulthood to 18, there arose the issue of young adults aged 18 and 19 who appear in adult videos not being able any longer to abrogate contracts on the grounds that they are “underage.”


On April 20, the ruling party’s project team (PT) finalized the outline of a draft bill to address the issue.


Because support groups [that help young victims of the pornography industry] regard the right to abrogate an adult video contract as the most effective measure to help victims, the groups have requested the PT to include the right in the draft bill.


Instead of including the right in the draft bill, the PT decided to include a relief measure that enables anyone, not limited to 18- and 19-year-olds and regardless of gender, to be able to unconditionally abrogate an adult video contract during a certain period after filming. Those who appear in adult videos will not be obligated to compensate for damages resulting from backing out their contracts. 


Until March, with the right to revoke an adult video contract under the provisions of the old Civil Code, an 18-  or 19-year-old could recall or discontinue sales of videotapes in which they appeared without parental consent simply because they were minors.


Minors were granted the “minor’s right of revocation,” which allows them to abrogate a contract they entered into without their parents’ consent. And they were able to claim that the business operators of adult videos fulfill the obligation to “restore minors to the condition prior to their appearance in the adult video.” 


Under the PT’s draft bill, it is unclear whether it is possible to recall porn videos already on the market before the abrogation of the contract. If the new bill does not have a provision that  allows a measure equivalent to the minor’s right of revocation, it would not effectively provide relief to a victim of adult videos. 


“Although minor’s right of abrogation is not specified in the draft bill, we want to ensure that the new legal framework will provide relief to victims of adult videos,” said one of the PT members.


Meanwhile, during a meeting of the House of Representatives Committee on Health, Labour and Welfare on April 20, Yamanoi Kazunori of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan said, “It is necessary to make adult video business operators assume the obligation “restore minors to the condition prior to their appearance in the adult video.” The ruling and opposition parties should be able to reach an agreement to include the matter in the bill.”

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