It’s hard to believe that Asia’s most progressive country as far as electronic music goes has been abiding by a decades old law called Fueiho – often referred to as ‘no dancing’.
But effective today, that law has for the most part been officially lifted and while there are still strict regulations to adhere by, some establishments will now be able to legally operate between midnight and sunrise with music, drinking and dancing.
Club owners whose establishments meet specific requirements will be able to apply for a permit to operate as a Yukyo Inshokuten Eigyo (Nighttime Entertainment Restaurant Operations), in which they can remain open past midnight.
The requirements include things like keeping the lighting turned up to 10 lux in some areas of the club and the establishment being located outside of residential areas, amongst others.
However The Japan Times reports that many clubs still lie outside of the designated Yukyo Inshokuten Eigyo areas, even with some of Tokyo’s most popular neighborhoods, like Roppongi, still being off limits. What is actually considered as entertainment under the new rule is also foggy.
Enforced since 1948, the Fueiho law was originally meant to regulate the sex industry. A 2012 crackdown in Osaka triggered a petition to revise the decades old law, which led to last year’s revision that took about a year to come into effect. Clubs have until now been grouped into the same category as sex parlors.
Let's hope this change means good things and positive changes for Japan's already vibrant electronic music culture.