Rules, regulations, and procedures of the inspection process

The final reform refers to several major measures that were designed to uphold the transparency and fairness of the inspection process. First, inspectors at Eizorin were now given more privacy and space to conduct their inspection. Together with a better environment, including individual booths and headsets, inspectors were able to conduct their inspection on their own, without any pressure from a co-inspector. They could now make their own judgement without any influence from others. Obviously, this effort was meant to create a private space to ensure the independence of the inspector. Relatedly, no representative from AV makers was allowed to be present at the inspection. This was intended to ensure that the inspector's inspection was free from the AV makers’ intervention.

Eizorin had for the first time introduced a systematic and transparent inspection procedure to ensure that the AVs of each of its members would be treated fairly, hoping that its legitimacy in the industry could be enhanced. Eizorin distributed a manual outlining how its inspection process proceeded to make sure that the process was transparent. It was also meant to minimise personal arbitrariness and maximise transparency. In addition, each adult movie submitted to Eizorin for inspection was to be checked by two randomly appointed inspectors who would separately review the AV concerned. This was obviously meant to balance out personal arbitrariness, and to ensure that the inspection result was not dominated by one person’s point of view. The two inspectors’ reports would then be sent to a third inspector whose job was to cross-check their reports and serve as the final arbitrator if the inspection reports of the two inspectors contradicted each other.

If the third inspector was unable to make the final decision, the case was sent to the weekly internal meeting. Chaired by a senior member and attended by a number of inspectors, this meeting provided an occasion for inspectors to hold discussions about the problematic cases. If the case could not be resolved internally, it would be sent to the monthly Meeting of Inspection Verification (Shinsa Kensho Kaigi) attended by a group of external inspectors to discuss the case and make the final decision. According to official documents, the Shinsa Kensho Kaigi was established in August 2011 as a third-party organisation in the Inspection Centre, under Eizorin. The verification meeting had two major roles: (1) to prevent inspectors who have concentrated on their daily review work from being biased in their appraisal decisions, and (2) to verify whether the inspection was carried out objectively.

In 2015, there were five verifying inspectors (Kensho) who came from a wide range of fields, including television broadcasting, TV games, film, publishing, and mass media in general (see Table 7.3).

The diverse backgrounds of the external inspectors were intended to solicit all possible perspectives, advice, and comments from the inspectors. On some occasions, even the Shinsa Kensho Kaigi failed to finalise the decision, and its members could refer the case to the Committee of Third-Person Inspection Verification (Shinsa Kensho Daisansha linkai). There, external inspection officers would attend and serve as arbitrators of unsolved issues (See Figure 7.1). The Committee of Third-Person Inspection Verification, however, was only called on when extraordinarily important or knotty issues arose. Our fieldwork in Eizbrin shows that the Shinsa Kensho Daisansha linkai, on average, is called on once or twice a year.

In light of the above discussion, we are inevitably forced to ask what all these meetings, including weekly meetings among inspectors, Shinsa Kensho Kaigi, and Shinsa Kensho Daisansha linkai, are actually for. Why has Eizbrin been making a fuss over the founding of these kinds of meeting/committee?

Obviously, one major goal behind the establishment of these committees/meet-ings is to avoid several inspectors dominating opinions. Inviting external inspectors who are often experts or professionals in certain fields, including film, media, and TV broadcasting, to join the discussion aims to minimise unfairness arising from personal bias and favouritism. Armed with their own expertise, alongside their neutral status apart from the body, it is assumed that they have no reason not to be impartial. Yet we must point out that what is more important about these meetings is the intention to avoid arbitrariness and ambiguity, with the aim of producing a clear-cut conclusion. Inspectors at Eizbrin had to give its members a very clear answer on what was allowed, what was not, and why, in the inspection report.

Table 7.3 Members of the Shinsa Kensho Kaigi in 2015


Profession and affiliations

Major field

Sato Masahiro

Formerly worked at Daiei and WOWOW, and temporarily served as the chief inspector at Nichieishin

Film and TV broadcasting

Kano Yoritoshi

Formerly worked at Shochiku, and later served as inspector of Eizbrin


Moritada Takashi

Served at Culture Broadcasting for decades, later served as executive supervisor of BPO Broadcasting Commission on Human Rights

TV broadcasting

Otake Rikizo

Formerly worked at Shueisha, appointed Mass Media Ethic Association’s media and legal committee member


Odagawa Atsuro

Formerly worked at Toho and later served as inspector at Eizbrin


Eizorin’s internal structure for the inspection of AVs

Figure 7.1 Eizorin’s internal structure for the inspection of AVs

There had to be a single ‘truth’ wherein ambiguity was not allowed, and arbitrariness must be hidden, for otherwise Eizorin’s authority would be challenged.

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