Oct 28, 2014
Japan Looks To Lift Ban On Late-Night Dancing

The Japanese cabinet voted to approve a lift on the country’s longstanding late-night dancing ban, which means citizens and tourists might soon be able to shake it past 12 midnight without breaking the law for the first time since World War II.

Resident Advisor reports via Reuters that the cabinet’s decision on Oct. 24 must now be ratified by Japan’s parliament, but it has a strong likelihood of passing, and things are looking up for those wishing to get down into the early hours.

The ban was established in 1948 as a response to prostitution in dance clubs, but it has been more stiffly enforced since a brawl in Osaka in 2010 resulted in the death of a student. With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approaching, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, which controls a majority of both sides of Japan’s political system, is looking to capitalize on the associated tourism boom.

“Visitors from overseas would come here to Japan and they’d wonder why they can’t dance, even though you can dance at night anywhere overseas,” said Kenji Kosaka, a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and head of an alliance of lawmakers for the promotion of dance culture.

However, a permit will still be required to allow all-night dancing, and new lighting restrictions will be imposed on venues to prevent illegal activity in clubs by requiring 10 lux, or roughly the level of lighting in a theater before the movie starts.

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