Businesses Affecting Public Morals Regulation Act

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"No dancing" sign in a bar in Tokyo

The Businesses Affecting Public Morals Regulation Law (風俗営業等の規制及び業務の適正化等に関する法律), also known as 風俗営業取締法 (Fūzoku Eigyō Torishimari Hō) or fueiho,[1] is a law that regulates entertainment places in Japan.


  • 1948: Creation of the law.
  • April 1, 1959: Name change.
  • August 14, 1984: Extension to some businesses before midnight.
  • April 1998: Extension to some massage businesses and adult videos transmission by Internet.
  • November 2005: Penal regulation enforcement, various new rules.[2]
  • January 2015: Proposition to relax the law is rejected.[3]


Businesses offering food and entertainment[edit]

  • Category 1: Japanese cabaret.
  • Category 2: Kyabakura (hostess bar).
  • Category 3: Business where customers can eat and dance.
  • Category 4: Dance hall.
    • At first this covered dance schools too. Dance schools were removed from this category in 1998 after the movie Shall We Dance? made ballroom dance popular.
  • Category 5: Bar.
  • Category 6: Mahjong and pachinko parlor.
  • Category 7: Amusement arcade.

Sex industry[edit]

Businesses selling alcohol after midnight[edit]

Selling alcohol after midnight requires a permission. Also, after 10pm family restaurants must refuse non-accompanied people under 18 years old.


Business in the "Businesses offering food and entertainment" class require an authorization from the prefecture's public safety commission.

Business in the "Sex industry" and "Businesses selling alcohol after midnight" classes do not require an authorization, but require a notification.

Consequence on nightclubs[edit]

Dance is forbidden in nightclubs with dancefloors smaller than 66 square meters,[4] or nightclubs that operate after 1am (midnight in some areas).[1] While this rule has been mostly ignored for 50 years, since 2011 it has started to be enforced by the police in Osaka, Fukuoka and Tokyo.[4] This has led most nightclubs to display "No Dancing" signs, and some employ security personnel to actually prevent customers from dancing.[5]

In 2013, organization Let's Dance submitted a petition signed by 155,879 people to the National Diet, demanding that the part of the law regulating dancing be updated.[5] Let's Dance has a sub-group called Dance Lawyers, composed of lawyers.[5]

The cabinet agreed to lift the ban on dancing in October 2014. Some have speculated this was in view of the 2020 Summer Olympics.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hadfield, James (12 October 2012). "Japan: no dancing please". Time Out Tokyo. Archived from the original on 27 January 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  2. ^ Hartley, Ryan (Spring 2005). "The politics of dancing in Japan" (PDF). The Newsletter (70).
  3. ^ "「クラブ」の営業規制を緩和する風俗営業法改正案が廃案に - ライブドアニュース" [Amendment to the customs law to relax sales regulations of "clubs" is out of date] (in Japanese). 9 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b Hashi. "Is Dancing Illegal In Japan?". Tofugu. Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Lhooq, Michelle (27 December 2013). "Dance Lawyers Are Fighting Japan's Club Crackdownn". THUMP. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  6. ^ "After a Long Legal Battle, Japan Finally Lifts Its Notorious "No Dancing" Law". Thump. Retrieved 2015-05-01.

External links[edit]