“Kiddie porn manga” comics pulled thanks to South Australian MP

“Kiddie porn manga” comics pulled thanks to South Australian MP

By Rachael Wong

Japanese comic book chain, Kinokuniya, has pulled hundreds of titles from its Sydney store after South Australian politician Connie Bonaros wrote to the retailer complaining that it was selling “kiddie porn manga”.

According to Ms Bonaros, the books in question feature “depictions of wide-eyed ‘children’ – childlike in stature but engaged in extremely explicit sexual activities”. She says that “some of the predominantly female characters in these books are wearing school uniforms and innocent expressions as they engage in sometimes violent sex acts with dominant characters including incest and rape”.

Ms Bonaros is a former chief of staff to South Australian senator Stirling Griff, who earlier this year called on the Classification Board to re-review the classification of all manga and anime in Australia (Japanese comic books and animation), to screen out the glorification of child sexual abuse. The senator specifically called for the ban of the film Sword Art Online: Extra Edition for “undoubtedly [featuring] the abuse of children”. 

“In one explicit scene that takes place in the virtual world the character Asuna is raped by her captor Sugu, who threatens to also rape her in the real world, where she is lying in a hospital room in a catatonic state. He also states that he’ll make a recording of the virtual rape to shame her as well. The rape, incredibly, is referred to as a ‘fun party’”, said the senator.

In his speech on the topic, the senator warned that “the rape of children is abundant in manga” and that “children are often portrayed as [frightened] or resisting but they’re also shown as enjoying sexual abuse” and that “experts say that paedophiles are using this material to groom children”.

It is imperative that this insidious form of child abuse material is banned in Australia as a matter of urgency and Ms Bonaros’ win with Kinokuniya is a great step towards this.

Ms Bonaros celebrated the achievement in a post on social media today, writing:

I congratulate Kinokuniya on taking such strong and decisive action.

Once I raised the issue with the company’s Chairman and CEO, it has moved expeditiously to remove the offending books from sale – books that child abuse experts warn paedophiles use as tools to groom children.

Children have a right to be protected from all forms of child exploitation.

If this action by Kinokuniya helps stop one child from being sexually abused, it is one child we have saved.

I will continue to keep a keen interest in the company and what other action it will take in this area.

Together, we can all make a difference.

Well done Connie and thank you for fighting for a world where children are free from sexual abuse and exploitation!

Rachael Wong is the CEO of Women’s Forum Australia

Women’s Forum Australia is an independent think tank that undertakes research, education and public policy advocacy on issues affecting women and girls, with a particular focus on addressing behaviours and practices that are harmful and abusive to them. We are a non-partisan, non-religious, tax-deductible charity. We do not receive any government funding and rely solely on donations to make an impact. Support our work today.

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