Mayuko Watanabe


Media Researcher and Journalist,
President of
the Association for Sexual Media Literacy Education (ASMLE)

Tokyo, Japan




▶ Blog: Sexual Media Literacy Education


< Biography >

Mayuko WATANABE is an award winning journalist, a researcher, and an author

specialized in media literacy, gender and sexuality. Her research interest through

over 20 years of career including as a TV news reporter has been the regulatory policy of obscene expressions.

Not only taught media theories at several universities, she also worked on the Japanese Government to apply a concept of "Healthy Development of Youths" to its regulatory policy. She has served as a government committee member, and as a lecturer of Internet moral education for Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and also as a lecturer of human rights for Ministry of Justice.


Featured in International Media:

・CNA (Channel News Asia)

   - The reality of Domestic Violence in Japan


   - Japan's Broadcasting Regulation

・Japan Today
How to deal with Online Stalking


mayoko watanabe, channel news asia


Mayuko Watanabe has been proposing education and regulation through making speeches on the issue of Japanese sexual information and virtual child pornography including manga, anime and game for more than 15 years.




Journal of Media and Human Rights 2023 Vol.1 No.1

-- Table of Contents --
Why Virtual Child Pornography is a Problem
1. "Freedom of Expression" and Virtual Child Pornography
(1) Limits of Freedom of Expression
(2) Reality and scientific data on virtual child pornography
(3) The nature of the problem of virtual child pornography
2. Child Sexual Abuse and the Media
(1) Sexuality of children targeted
(2) Problems of depiction in sexual media
3. Criticisms against Japan from the International Community (1) World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children
(2) Japanese Virtual Child Pornography Used for Sex Crimes in Other Countries
4. Research Objectives and Methodology
(1) Problem and research objectives
(2) Research questions
(3) Research Methodology

Recent Articles

Doctral Thesis

'New Dimension of the Regulation of Child Pornography' by Mayuko WATANABE
Japan’s Current Legal System of Virtual Child Pornography and Issues in International Comparison (Summary)
New Dimension of the Regulation of Child
PDFファイル 50.5 KB

Conference Presentation

 -- 2017 International Telecommunications Society (ITS) Conference --

An Analysis of the Japanese viewpoint on regulatory policy of virtual child pornography
Presebtation Slides by Mayuko Watanabe
An Analysis of the Japanese viewpoint on
PDFファイル 1.4 MB
<full paper> An Analysis of the Japanese viewpoint on regulatory policy of virtual child pornography
full paper by Mayuko Watanabe
full paper An Analysis of the Japanese v
PDFファイル 492.3 KB


--2013 Japan Association of Gender and Law Annual Symposium

Relationship between "Sexual Expression of Drawings" and "Real-Life Sexual Harm" in the Media -On the Proposed Amendment to the Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Prohibition Law in Japan
ABSTRACT by Mayuko Watanabe
Conference Paper Abstract_Gender and Law
PDFファイル 61.8 KB


-- 2011 International Telecommunications Society (ITS) Conference --

Regulations and Media Literacy Education On Online Sexual Information: A Japanese Perspective
ITS2011 full paper Mayuko Watanabe.pdf
PDFファイル 313.0 KB

< Current Research Interest >

 Media Literacy of Obscene Information among Youth in Japan

In late years, the young people in Japan tend to see obscene information more frequently by the flood of magazines, comics, and adult videos that handle obscene contents, and especially by the spread of the Internet.

While Japan is known as the country called "pornography superpower," parents and schools are not going to face the sex education directly. Therefore, the young people rely on the media as a textbook of sex.

Based on the result of her survey of male and female university students, she examines how the obscene information of such media is associated with youths’ behavioral and normative beliefs about having sexual intercourse, and harmful effects for their sexual communication.





Journal Articles

・ Watanabe, Mayuko. International trend and human rights over child pornography:

   the future agenda of Japan. In Information and Communications Policy Review No.10 March,




International trend and human rights ove
PDFファイル 45.9 KB

Watanabe, Mayuko. A Review of Research which Discusses the Effects of Obscene Harmful Information
   from Old Media to the Internet. In
The Japan Society of Information and Communication Research No.30 (2), 2012



・ Watanabe, Mayuko. Regulations and Media Literacy Education on Online Obscene Harmful Information: A Japanese Perspective.
  In  UNESCO: Media & Information Literacy Clearinghouse / Keio Communication Review No.34, 2012




・ Watanabe, Mayuko (2018). Virtual Child Pornography and the Rights of the Child: The way to regulate manga, anime and game in  

                                      Japan. Keiso Publishing, Inc., Tokyo. (End of Sales) <Summary in English>

Watanabe, Mayuko (2015). Revenge Porn: Young people who's sex are diffused. Kobundo Co., Ltd, Tokyo.

Watanabe, Mayuko (2013). Media Literacy of Obscene Information among Youth in Japan. Amazon Services International, Inc.

Watanabe, Mayuko (2010). When Children Expose Their Secrets Online: addicted to SNS. Shufunotomo Co., Ltd., Tokyo.

Watanabe, Mayuko (2008). The Truth of Cyber bullying. Minerva Publishing, Inc., Kyoto.

Watanabe, Mayuko (2007). Media Literacy for Adults. Liberta Publishing Co., Ltd., Tokyo.


< Awards >

Radio documentary: Suicide of 16 years old boy - What did the bereaved family fight against?

・ Highest award from the Japan Commercial Broadcasters Association

・ Award for excellence from the Hoso Bunka Foundation


< Education >

・1998 B.A. Human Science, Keio University, Tokyo

・ 2006 P.B.D. Communication, Simon Fraser University, Canada

・ 2013 Withdrawal from the Doctoral Program with the Completion of Course Requirements,

  Media and Governance, Keio University, Tokyo