Japan’s Supreme Court Has Legalized Non-Medical Tattooing In Historic Ruling
By Izza Sofia, 21 Sep 2020
Image via Shutterstock
For the first time in history, the Supreme Court in Japan has ruled that tattooing people without a medical license is finally legal.
In Japan, a law known as the Medical Practitioners’ Act equates the process of getting a tattoo as a medical procedure in regard to maintaining hygiene standards and preventing skin disorders. Therefore, tattoo artists usually require a medical license to perform them on customers.
According to The Japan Times, the ruling comes after a debate over the case of a 32-year-old tattoo artist Taika Masuda, who was arrested and fined ¥150,000 (US$1,438) for tattooing female customers without a medical license between 2014 and 2015.
Masuda was found guilty in 2017 by an Osaka District Court. However, in 2018, the Osaka High Court overturned the ruling after deciding that tattoos are for artistic purposes, instead of medical. The prosecutors then appealed the Osaka High Court’s decision, moving the case to Japan’s Supreme Court. The Court ruled in favor of Masuda.
“Tattooing is not considered medical treatment, nor an act linked to health care,” the Supreme Court stated, upholding that tattooing is “a practice seen since ancient times as part of regional customs.”
Presiding Justice Koichi Kusano elaborated that a new law should be implemented to establish measures that prevent risks from tattoo procedures performed by non-medical licenses tattoo artists in the future.
The Supreme Court of Japan decided to decline the appeal which states that tattooists need a medical practicioner's license to do business. Tattooing, in other words, has been officially legalized 👏🏽— will⁷⭐︎ウィル🇯🇵birthday GA📌 (@ughustddaeng) September 18, 2020
The next step is to break the stigma on tattoos in the 🇯🇵 society. 🥴 https://t.co/4nWxpyoBDc
The stigma tattooing has in Japan is really bad. For example, people with tattoos aren’t allowed in public bath houses, pools, etc because of their tattoos. On the bright side, today their supreme court just made tattooing legal so its slowly getting better.— The Lizard King (@The1stScrub) September 18, 2020
[via Japan Times, cover image via Shutterstock]
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