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Grand Theft Auto banned in Saitama to Under 18's

Date: 2005 September 20 04:19

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According to Mainichi Daily News, it was decided that the Saitama Prefectural Government labeled Capcom’s controversial video game Grand theft Auto a ‘Harmful Publication’ and so it banned its sale to youths under 18 years of age.

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The decision was made upon basis that the game contained brutal violence scenes and thus government officials believed the game promoted violence amongst youths.

"I've seen the game myself and it's far too violent and obviously harmful," Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda said, speaking of the prefectural government's decision. "Freedom of expression is one thing, but the wholesome upbringing of youths is also important and this was the only option."

This is not the first time that the game was banned; in fact Saitama is the second prefecture after the Kanagawa Prefectural Government made a similar move.

Any retailer caught selling a game that was labelled a ‘harmful publication’ to those under the age of 18, can be fined up to 300,000 yen and the game must be clearly set apart from other software.

The Saitama Prefectural Government had asked the prefecture's council for the sound upbringing of youth to investigate the game. The council ruled on Sept. 9 that it was appropriate to deem the game a harmful publication.

Source: Mainichi Daily News
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