TOKYO--Regional governments in Japan are continuing to make movements on age restrictions for games that depict violence. Today, Ishikawa prefecture announced that it has plans to ban the sales of violent games to underage consumers. Ishikawa will be designating games that it deems to be negative influences on minors as "harmful publications." The local Ishikawa government has not yet singled out any particular titles as targets for its age restrictions.
Japan has been boiling over the issue of age restrictions on games since the local government of Kanagawa prefecture decided to ban the sale of Grand Theft Auto III to minors earlier this year. Two more prefectures, Saitama and Osaka, are also considering similar measures. Members of the Japanese gaming industry, like GTAIII's Japanese publisher Capcom and specialty retailers, are concerned about the sudden restrictions, but their case isn't being helped by recent events. A teenager who murdered his parents and then concealed his tracks by blowing up his apartment has been branded in the Japanese press as a fan of GTAIII.