Japan Lifts Dance Ban
By Amanda Scott
Since the end of World War II, Japan has banned dancing in establishments without a special “dance license.” This 67 year-old ban, which was recently lifted, forbade dancing in public places that did not hold a license. Dancing after midnight was also prohibited regardless of license.
Even though the archaic law remained in place, during the late twentieth century it was widely over-looked by law enforcement. The hard-to-enforce law was commonly broken, until nightclub brawls and drug scandals led to club raids which brought attention to the almost forgotten ban.
Japanese musician, Ryuichi Sakamoto, led a campaign, which gained 150,000 signatures in favor of dissolution of the dancing prohibition. The new law was formalized last week, however dancing in un-licensed premises and late-might dancing will remain illegal until the law goes into effect next year.
The government took into consideration the upcoming 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo, when deciding whether or not to lift the ban. Officials took the necessary steps by lifting the ban to make sure visitors to Tokyo were able to have a good time, dance, and spend money.
While Japan may be becoming Footloose, like the rest of the world, Sweden’s no dancing laws remain intact. Clubs and bars that allow spontaneous dancing without a license are subject to fines. Early this year, in March, Swedish law-makers voted on, but did not pass, a bill that would have lifted the bizarre ban on dancing.