A high school student has successfully raised five million yen (around $46,500) for legal fees to file a lawsuit against the Kagawa Prefecture over its gaming ordinance.
In May, a 17-year-old and his mother filed a lawsuit against Japan’s smallest prefecture, the Kagawa Prefecture. The claim is that a recent ordinance that restricts video game playing time for children is unconstitutional and violates fundamental human rights. The mother and son duo are seeking 1.54 million yet in damages, which equates to approximately $14,300.
In June, a crowdfunding campaign was launched by the 17-year-old on Campfire. The young man, going by the name Wataru, hoped to raise five million yen, near $46,500. On July 1, Wataru reported that the campaign has reached its five million yen goal. The campaign is set to last until August 22, with the lawsuit being presented to the court in September.
The ordinance being disputed took effect on April 1 after discussion in the assembly and a majority vote. The ordinance’s goal is to combat video game addiction. This marks the first time a local government in Japan has set any sort of guidelines or restrictions on video game and smartphone usage.
The restrictions are for any child under 18 to be held to 60 minutes or less of video game and smartphone usage per day. The number bumps to 90 minutes for weekends. It also forbids gaming devices from being used past 10 PM, with a stricter time of 9 PM for children under 12.
At this time, the prefecture has no plans on enforcing the ordinance with penalties. Households are being asked to apply the rules under their own discretion. This lax enforcement has not stopped the strong opposition to the ordinance.
The Kagawa Bar Association requested an immediate repeal of the ruling in May. As well, in June, a college student was placed under arrest for sending a threatening message to a member of the Kagawa Prefecture.
What is your take on restricting video games and media for children? Sound off in the comments!