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Teenager plans to sue Japan for restrictive gaming guidelines

In Japan, there are guidelines on how much time teenagers should be online. The ordinance suggests kids spend no more than an hour playing games and ninety minutes on school holidays. Additionally, it calls for children 12 to 15 years old to stop using their smartphones after 9 pm and 10 pm for teenagers between 15-18, reports International Business Times. However, these are just guidelines and there’s no real way to enforce the law. But that didn’t stop a 17-year-old teenager named Waturu from fighting the power by planning a lawsuit against the government for these restrictions.

“How long children are allowed to play games or use a smartphone should be rules set by each family, not by the government,” he said. “I thought it is wrong that an administrative body intervenes in family life.”

Waturu is getting help from his mother and a lawyer to challenge the ordinance. He said he’s not a heavy gamer at all but it’s the principle here that matters above all. This comes after his frustration of being kicked off online servers after 10 pm. He said that the guidelines “have no scientific evidence”

Instead he said the government’s approach comes from trying to curb truancy and addiction.

“They’re based on the premise that gaming is the cause of things like truancy and addiction to games,” Waturu said. “But it could be the other way around — truancy can be caused by problems in school, for example, and for some people playing games can be the only relief.”

The ordinance passed the prefectural assembly in March and became the first guidelines established on children’s online affairs. It came after a small group of people around 600 opposed the local law in January.

Waturu’s lawyer, Tomoshi Sakka said he believes the law is unconstitutional. He said it goes against the constitution’s commitment to ensure the right of self-determination.

While Waturu said it’s just another law to restrict kids from having fun.

“How can us kids be allowed to just have some fun,” he said.

Good luck to the kid!


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