Japan Just Broke Its Longstanding ‘No Dancing’ Law

Who knew the fictional rural (and slightly backwards) town of Bomont from the Kevin Bacon classic Footloose  is actually a real place? And by real place we mean the entire industrialized nation of Japan. That’s right, the country who knows how to make a decent automobile, robot, and Donald Trump video finally removed their ‘no dancing’ law today.

According to Chart Attack, it was illegal for dance clubs in Japan to stay open past midnight. This law, which was on the books since 1948, was called the fuzoku eigyo torishimari, which loosely translates to ‘Entertainment Businesses Control Law’. Basically, this law was put in place to regulate establishments where they thought sex workers would hang out. Nightclubs continued to operate after hours despite the archaic law with no repercussions. That is until 5 years ago when party poopers were complaining about noise coming from local clubs, specifically in Osaka. Masatoshi Kanemitsu the owner Moon, an Osaka hot spot was arrested for operating the club past curfew.

A petition against the law called “Let’s Dance” popped up and soon Japanese lawmakers decided that it was time to lift the ban. Last year, the law was revised, citing that it was “foolish to treat dance halls like sex parlours.” However, there’s still a catch. Clubs need to apply for a permit to operate after hours and the club needs to be equipped with lighting brighter than 10 lux, which is about as bright as a movie theater. If they don’t comply to the lighting regulations, the club can still stay open past 5 a.m., but alcohol can’t be served. Kind of strange, but at least The Man isn’t keeping Japanese party people from dancing the night away.

(Via Chart Attack)