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How international politics will affect your porn – and your car

Unless you are an Eastern trade politics pundit, you probably aren’t very familiar withTPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. You actually should, as it is going to deeply impact markets worldwide and, as a consequence, everyone’s lives. For the moment, however, all you need to know is that several countries (among which the United States, Australia, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Japan) met to discuss “the liberalization of local markets”. The process was far from being transparent, raising questions about a possible trade barrier against China, a corporate takeover of some civil liberties and many other topics sometimes bordering with conspiracy nuts worries. Generally speaking, the TPP means very different things to different people.
Japan, in example, had a long internal debate about whether entering the treaty at all. When it finally did, at the very last possible moment, it amounted to a declaration of accepting to lose some of its deep-seated insularity in exchange for a better role on the global market. With sometimes strange effects for its people. In fact, if Japanese farmers are “simply” protesting against the loss of State-imposed prices for their rice, other professional categories risk to be wiped out entirely. Like pornographers.

As economic researcher and porn expert Takashi Kadokura noted, the TPP could be excellent news for an industry producing over 54,000 videos every year but historically selling only to the national public. Just entering the lucrative North American market for pay-on-demand hotel room porn would multiply Japanese porn revenues by orders of magnitude. «There is an especially strong need for baby-faced actresses in countries with Caucasians » he said «and as Japan satisfies this criteria, I think demand for these films will be high». Hooray for teenage-obsessed Westerners, then… or not?
Shukan taishu magazine replied with a statement from an unnamed, worried producer: «There is a risk that Japanese porn actresses will not be employable once Japan joins the TPP. Adult performers like Asuka Hoshino look like elementary school kids to American men and they get irritated. There is a chance that our videos may violate child pornography laws in the U.S».  Kadokura concerns are slightly more poetic. «In porn films from the U.S. there are no stories: the heart of each film is the deed itself. However, for Japan, the story is the focus and the films are often regarded as works of art».

Artistic differences will be however the last of the problems. Since the Japanes penal code punishes the display of obscene materials with a minimum $25,000 fine and two years of prison, adult videos resort to hiding genitals behind an electronic “mosaic” effect which would be unacceptable on foreign markets. A debate in the local papers, however, made clear that the 1955 law might be amended.
I am not totally sure about the artistic value of J-porn, nor about the supposed frenzy about schoolgirl-type porn stars. I find the racist undertones of many statements hilarious, but what really cracked me ip was the final declaration of an alleged insider, who went on declaring in the pages of Shukan asahi geino that a deal was being negotiated: no more mosaic in exchange for the lift of the American protective measures frustrating the sales of Japanese cars in the United States. Of all the TPP conspiracies, this sounds like the most outlandish.

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