Last Friday, on the recommendation of a special committee the Abe cabinet agreed to suggested changes to the Fueiho laws which place severe and unclear regulations on dancing in Japan.

As we reported last week, under Fueiho (Act on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Business), businesses such as nightclubs are required to operate under a loosely defined set of parameters. However, most didn’t. This led to a string of raids and closures which crippled the night club scene in much of Japan.

After these new changes pass through the Diet, clubs will be allowed to host dancing after midnight – provided the lighting is bright enough.

According to the suggested changes the lighting on the dance floor after 12:00 must be brighter than 10 lux, which is about the brightness provided by a candle one foot away (foot-candle). Why this is, is anyone’s guess… but then these laws are not exactly known for making much sense to begin with.

It doesn’t take a great detective to assume these changes are intended for the influx of tourism that will take place around the 2020 Olympic Games. Since pretty much every other democratic society allows the freedom to dance, Japan had best get up to speed.

However, the overall threat of Fueiho remains largely unchanged for nightclubs in Japan. Despite this change the overall law remains largely intact with several other clauses that could lead to two dozen police officers breaking down the door, arresting the staff, and going through all their personal information. Because of dancing.

So after the LDP-dominated Diet passes through these changes as expected, there will most likely be a sort of rebuilding period in dancing establishments leading up to 2020, followed by a brief peace, and another crackdown to complete the cycle. Unless any real change in government occurs this will be the only dance that never ends.

Source: Japan Today (English)
Top image: Wikipedia – Timfrakes, Musin