Strange Japanese Laws You Never Knew Existed

By on February 26, 2017

Every country has its own weird laws and Japan is no different. We’ve compiled a list of laws that you  probably haven’t heard of.

  1. Articles 1 and 2 of the Cupid Ordinance in Mie Prefecture Kisho-cho
    Article 1 states ‘the purpose of the ordinance is to promote marriage among middle-aged people in order to boost personal motivation that creates livelihood, re-energizes the town, creates a home environment, and increases the town population’. Article 2 states that to meet the town’s goal, a  ‘Cupid Committee’ installed by the prefecture will be in charge.
  2. Articles 4 and 12 of the Space Regulation prohibits astronauts from engaging in military exercises on the moon and asteroids adding that all facilities are open to astronauts from other countries.
    It became a law in 1966 during the time when space centers of the United States and Russia were actively promoting space development.
  3. Minor Criminal Act Article 16 of the Law on Cloning Regulations
    The law came into effect in the year 2000 prohibiting cloning technology from being used on humans after the famous cloned sheep ‘Dolly’ was born in 1996.
    The act carries a punishment of 10 years in prison.
  4. Minor Criminal Act, Article 1 20: “Exposure of thighs by mistake carries a prison term of up to 29 days”
    It became a law in 1948 and was not limited to just thighs. Exposing buttocks is also subject to regulation.
  5. Article 78 of the Postal Law: Putting Ice Cream in a mailbox carries a prison term of 5 years or less or a fine of no more than ¥500,000. In 2006, a 42-year old mailman from Saitama prefecture was arrested for putting a chocolate ice cream inside a mail box.


Breastfeeding regulations in Yamaguchi Prefecture  Yamaguchi prefecture was the first in Japan to promote breastfeeding. There’s nothing weird about the law except for how the government calls it – “Breast declaration.”  Yamaguchi Prefecture celebrates a “Boobie festival” every summer to promote breast feeding after the practice has declined by 30%.

The ‘Family Support Ordinance’ at Fukaura Town of Aomori Prefecture  The law provides 6 million yen in total cash support to families with 7 children which is the result of a 30% declining birth rate. 1 million yen  is paid to families after the birth of a 3rd child. The amount goes up by ¥100,000 increment for every new birth thereafter. That’s it? No, the person who plays ‘cupid’ to a couple also gets ¥200,000.

Juvenile Protection Ordinance of Nagasaki Prefecture – Covering just Nagasaki, the law came into effect in 1978 prohibiting vendors to sell condoms to people under 18 years old. Condoms however can be purchased at most convenience stores making the law ineffective. The Japan Women’s Science Council made three attempts to repeal the law  but was not successful.

About Ted Tanaka

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *