EIGA RINRI IINKAI a.k.a EIRIN (Film Classification and Rating Committee) is an independent, non-governmental organization, which has been responsible for the classification of motion pictures since 1956.
Before and during World War II, the Japanese government strictly censored films according to the motion picture law. After the War, the Allied Occupation Forces censored films for a few years. Soon after the new Japanese Constitution was promulgated in 1946, the Occupation Forces advised the motion picture industry to form a self-regulating organization, envisioning the creation of a Japanese counterpart to the MPAA Code Administration Office. EIGA RINRI KITEI KANRI IINKAI, the predecessor to EIRIN, was established in 1949. In the 1950’s, EIRIN was criticized by both the press and the authorities for its category decisions on controversial youth films depicting sex and violence. Its critics also pointed out that the administrators and examiners belonged to the industry that also financed EIRIN.
In 1956, EIRIN was reorganized into a new self-financing body, recruiting professors, lawyers and teachers from outside the industry as its commission members. In 1962, the Ministry of Health and Welfare acknowledged and ratified the Code of the National Association of Theatre Owners of Japan, which among its articles specifies that its member theatres shall not exhibit a film without an EIRIN certificate. It also stipulates that theatres shall not allow admission of persons younger than 18 years old to restricted films classified as R-18.
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