The country's infamous "no-dancing" legislation, which dates back to 1948, has been revised.
The wheels were set in motion when Japan's cabinet initially approved plans to change the legislation in 2014. Though that proposal was scrapped, similar changes were formalised by Japan's House Of Councillors on Wednesday, June 17th. Dance clubs can now open past midnight if they meet certain conditions. (Previously, the law had defined venues that allowed its customers to dance as an "adult entertainment establishment," which required a special license and made them close between midnight and sunrise.)
Under the new law, dance clubs equipped with lighting brighter than 10 lux will be able to apply for the new licence, called Tokutei Yukyo Inshokuten Eigyo, which allows them to open for 24 hours. However, the clubs will still need to obtain permission from a local public safety commission.
Clubs that fail to meet the lighting requirements will still be classed as an "adult entertainment business," but in specific areas (probably in big cities) they will be able to open after midnight. According to the Japan Times, "police will measure illumination in the clubs' seating areas and permit dimmer light in dance areas." If clubs don't serve alcohol after midnight, they don't have to get the new licence and can open for 24 hours.
The new Fueiho laws will take effect in 2016.
For more insight into Tokyo's club landscape, check out RA's Real Scenes: Tokyo film below.
Additional reporting by Mocco Naoshima