The 66-year-old Fueiho law is a step closer to being officially overturned.
The archaic law has loomed over Japan's nightlife scene since 1948. Though only occasionally enforced, it states that dancing in public venues is illegal without a special license—and even then the license is only allowed until midnight.
"The biggest thing that will change in this law is that you can now dance at night," says Kenji Kosaka, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). "Visitors from overseas would come here to Japan and they'd wonder why they can't dance, even though you can dance at night anywhere overseas."
The cabinet's decision, made on Friday, October 24th, must now be ratified by parliament—something that shouldn't pose a problem, Kosaka says, because the LDP holds a majority in both houses of Japanese parliament. The action has been taken as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics—and the promise of a tourism cash boon—loom into view.
The new laws do come with a catch. According to Reuters, new rules will be enforced when it comes to lighting in clubs: "The lighting must now be brighter than 10 lux, or about as much as in a movie theater before a show starts, to discourage crimes and bad behavior." Clubs will also need a permit to allow all-night dancing.
The Fueiho law was explored in depth in RA's Real Scenes documentary about Tokyo.