Q Why are pornographic newspapers and magazines read on trains?

A Japan is considered to be a conservative and a moral coun-try but compared to the United States, Japan is lax on regulations concerning violence and sex on TV and in magazines. Non-Japanese may find pictures and articles appearing in Japanese magazines (especially weeklies) and newspapers (especi.ally the evening edition) to be sexually explicit.

To begin with, these magazines and newspapers are an important source of information containing news reports based on the news of the day or of the week, articles for pure entertainment, and serials of novels, all which are enjoyed by the masses. As a form of added spice, a little risque is thrown into some of the articles and edited to amuse the readers.

There are many other kinds of pornographic books and magazines but they are not read in public on trains although they are readily available in ordinary bookstores. In other words, an arbitrary line is drawn on how far to go as long as the sexual organs and the sexual act itself are not shown.

In other countries, there is no line determining what is considered acceptable and what is considered unacceptable. Although there are no restrictions placed on adults wishing to view such material, care is taken so that the general public and children do not get their hands on such material.

In Japan, on the other hand, there are no overly explicit scenes but there is a problem with lax control where the general public and children can have easy access to them.