Tattoo artists must obtain medical licenses: Japanese court

Source:AFP Published: 2017/9/27 22:58:40

Tattoo artists must obtain licenses, says Japan court

A Japanese court Wednesday fined a tattoo artist for tattooing customers without a medical license, the first case of its kind in a country where body art is associated with gangsters.

Police raided the studio of 29-year-old Taiki Masuda in 2015, charging him with violating a law requiring anyone who carries out a medical procedure to have a formal qualification.

He received a court order to pay fines but requested a trial instead, hoping to prove that tattooing was art and not medical practice, according to the Asahi Shimbun daily.

At his trial, presiding judge Takaaki Nagase said it was "­reasonable" to require tattooists to hold a medical license to prevent health risks, local ­media reported.

"The tattoo artist is sentenced to a 150,000 yen ($1,300) fine," a spokesperson for the Osaka district court in western Japan said, without giving further details.

The judge also said that "bacteria and viruses are likely to penetrate [the body] and there is a risk of causing skin problems," according to the Nikkei business daily.

In Japan, tattoos are associated with yakuza organized crime syndicates. Many public institutions, such as hot springs or swimming pools, bar people who have them as a way of keeping out gangsters.

According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Kanto Federations of Bar Associations, nearly nine out of 10 people aged between 20 and 69 said they found tattoos scary.

But attitudes appeared to be changing, with about 40 percent of those in their 20s associating tattoos with art and fashion.

Newspaper headline: Tattoo artists must obtain licenses, says Japan court


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