Government officials and lawmakers from the ruling
Eyeing legislation in a parliamentary session this fall at the earliest, they are planning to replace the outright ban with a requirement for club and bar owners to obtain a license for extended operations from prefectural public safety commissions, according to the source.
Critics say they need to see the details of the envisaged legislative move that still keeps dance clubs within the scope of the law regulating adult entertainment business.
Dance clubs have been categorized in the same league as pachinko gambling parlors and sex parlors in
Bars and clubs in this category require licensing from local authorities and are prohibited from operating past midnight until morning.
Many dance clubs are believed to operate without license, since notifying the authorities entails closing shop late at night, while law-enforcement authorities have been stepping up crackdowns.
The latest legislative plan comes after a district court ruling in April that acquitted former
Kanemitsu, 51, said, "I feel a sense of discomfort for (dance clubs) being bound by murky provisions of the adult entertainment business law."
Most club owners subject to crackdowns opt for summary indictment by paying fines but Kanemitsu did not and faced indictment. After the lower court ruled in his favor, prosecutors appealed and the case is now pending at a high court.
Musicians and intellectuals including composer
An LDP panel discussed a law revision in June but did not approve it after opposition from members who said it would lead to an increase in problems with drunken customers and noise.
The government officials and LDP lawmakers have worked out a framework for the law revision also covering sports bars and other entertainment venues that serve food and alcohol, the source said. Some officials said that "it would be unfair if only dance-related places are covered by relaxed rules."
After discussions by a panel of experts at the
The revised framework envisages licensed establishments providing entertainment facilities and alcohol allowed to operate until
Sports bars and darts bars are currently allowed to operate past midnight so long as they do not organize competitions and other events, according to a source familiar with the industry.
If the law is revised, live music performances at jazz bars and live houses will also be allowed past midnight.
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