Ja­pan lifts ban on public danc­ing

CityPress - - News - – Staff re­porter

Af­ter 67 years of not be­ing al­lowed to dance pub­licly – un­less in a venue with a li­cence – Ja­pan’s cit­i­zens are re­joic­ing af­ter the re­stric­tion was lifted.

Un­til last week, like Cin­derella, all Ja­panese dancers had to stop their bop­ping at mid­night. The law was en­acted af­ter World War 2 be­cause dance halls, which were pop­u­lar at the time, were rife with pros­ti­tu­tion.

Although the law re­mained on the statute books, it wasn’t thor­oughly en­forced and po­lice of­ten turned a blind eye to it in the sec­ond half of the past cen­tury.

How­ever, UK daily The In­de­pen­dent re­ported, it started be­ing en­forced again in the 2000s af­ter a se­ries of celebrity drug scan­dals and night­club brawls led to an in­crease in po­lice raids.

The coun­try’s dancers will again be able to party the night away thanks to Ja­panese mu­si­cian Ryuichi Sakamoto, who con­ducted a cam­paign call­ing for the ban to go. It re­ceived 150 000 sig­na­tures.

The new law was fi­nally passed last week, but will only come into ef­fect next year.

In­ter­est­ingly, another coun­try that has a ban on danc­ing is Swe­den, where “spon­ta­neous danc­ing” is illegal and own­ers of bars, clubs and pubs with­out spe­cial danc­ing li­cences can be fined if their cus­tomers break out into a boo­gie.

The coun­try is stick­ing to its danc­ing ban though, and a vote in March to scrap it did not pass.

FOOTLOOSE

Danc­ing a night away is le­gal again

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