Japan Lifts Dancing Ban

It's been illegal in clubs after midnight for decades
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 6:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Starting next year, clubgoers in Japan will be able to keep dancing after the clock strikes midnight without fear of arrest. That's because a strange old law is finally coming off the books—one that forbids dancing in clubs and most public venues after midnight, reports CNN. It dates back to the end of World War II when dance halls were fronts for prostitution during the American occupation of Japan.

For years, police largely turned a blind eye to those in violation, though crackdowns picked up in the last decade after a series of drug scandals and brawls, notes the Independent. A big reason behind the change: Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics, and it wants foreigners to stay out late and spend money. The only big restriction under the change is that clubs will have to be reasonably well lit in the wee hours.

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