From Manga News Service:
In a landmark ruling in the Japanese court system, the first judgment stemming from obscenity charges has come down against a manga.
The key figure in the case is Motonori Kishi (54) who first started his publishing company Shobunkan in 1968. He was arrested pending the release of his manga Honey Room, the charge being distributing obscene material. Tokyo’s District Court found Kishi guilty on January 13, sentencing him to one year in prison and suspension for three years. The verdict has the adult rich comics industry in Japan in quite a nervous state. Ashita No Joe mangaka Tetsuya Chiba appeared in court as a defendant side witness. According to the testimony of A Tokyo Metropolitan Police inspector, the investigation was started based on a memo from LDP Diet member Katsuei Hirasawa. The defendant’s side argued that charge violated the constitution that secures the freedom of expression. An appeal is currently underway and a hering is scheduled for March 17th.