Taking to the streets to defend vintage synths in Japan

This Flickr Set shows synth geeks (and other people) marching to protest about the PSE law, which would (possibly, we're not sure, and there might be an exemption for musical instruments) outlaw all vintage electronics. Love the guy waving a mixer. I don't think they're really committed to the cause - I want to see the birth of an utterly ruthless terrorist organisation devoted to the protection of dusty musical gear. Someone should kidnap the relevant minister's family and torture them with copies of Country Moog: Switched on Nashville until the law is repealed. More on the law here, with better coverage here at Matrix Synth.

when will the global protest march take place ? Besides the music gear I'm certainly gonna miss the old handheld games, led pocket calculators and vintage transistor radio's, etc.....damn

I guess it's true. Maybe I should go shopping while I can.
Seems that the law will not affect consumers selling used goods as long as they are not doing it as business. However, as the line is not clearly drawn, people who buy and sell a lot of gear as a hobby/habit could in theory be held in violation. Given the complete lack of oversight of Internet auctions, though, my guess is that it will not affect the average person. It could destroy a lot of second-hand retailers, though.

More info (in Japanese)
Sorry for the multiple posts.

Exporting old gear won't be illegal either. The sky is not falling, but the law could hurt retailers who carry valuable vintage gear.


From other sources, the petition drive also seems to have ended.
Now the Japanese government is going to make a list to ensure which instrument is certified as the "vintage gear". If the instrument is certified so you can sell and buy it commercially even after the new law is effective. I guess such an action is quite stupid.....
Am I the one who is utterly confused by this ongoing story? Is the reason just that the exemptions are evolving under pressure?

I suppose that much makes sense, as Japan has FAR more second-hand sales in used electronics than we do in the US. We seem to just throw the stuff away. :-(

I would love to see someone really sum up the story here, because I frankly feel like I don't understand it.
Peter, I'm afraid that no one can sum up the story at all. Cos here in Japan, even the government guys are so confused and just telling us the new law must be effective on 1 April. Is this a bad joke or what.....

FYI: The Japanese bureaucrats are too proud to admit their fault. So once the law is declared, there's no way to stop it.
Electronics spring,
New law restricts used good sales,
Kirn's question answered?

From what I have read in English and Japanese, the reaction, including petition by Sakamoto and friends is partly the result of people being taken by surprise. The list of products effected was only published on the government web site in February according to the Asahi newspaper today (3/22). In response to public outrage, the government announced on the 14th that it is going to provide testing equipment and free testing for six months to certify pre-2001 appliance safety. And, vintage instruments will be exempt from testing according to same article. In other words, gear freaks have won the day! Of course, the Asahi notes that it is still a horrible law all around. I expect we will see more government back-peddling in the next week.


The law itself, in Japanese:

So, this is bad news for most of you because vintage audio gear sellers won't have to export their stuff out of Japan to sell it legally. . .
If you can read Japanese article, check the following URL:

Now it might be possible that many of the non-Japanese vintage gears won't be certified as "vintage gears" by the Japanese government just because such gears do not carry the certified marks according to the Japanese old regulation. What a joke!
What a joke I think someone should be fired.
Its another way to get people buying the latest items on the market.
Send your Game & Watches to the UK.
This law is aimed at "protecting the public" but another large goal is most likely "protecting Japan from foriegn electronics". I'm sure the national brands are very happy that all of those cheap Chinese electronic knockoffs are soon going to be illegal.
that's a cool fucking casio pose.
Wow, thanks for the explanation -- and the haiku!

Don't worry; I'm sure Behringer will find a way to violate whatever certification law they come up with.

Now I need to think up a protest that involves Casios and Famicoms taking to the street . . .
I have that same Casio keyboard. CA-110. Rock on.
I have that keyboard too :). go casio
Today, the Japanese government announced that the idea of making the list of the vintage gears was canceled but all the musical instruments pre 1989 should be regarded as "vintage"......

I'm afraid they will change their minds tomorrow again. What next?

FYI: now all the former members of YMO (Hosono, Sakamoto, Takahashi) stand against the law.
I think rather than just a 'mixer,' as our illustrious web hoster mentioned, the upraised object in the photo is actually a digital multitrack recording deck.

Nitpicky ME.
The deal is over. The law will be effective from 1 April as planned but you don't have to be so square: that's what the Japanese government is saying now. Nothing is clear but the rule is rule. Well, that's a typical Japanese way, you know......

So sorry guys but most of the vintage gears will be staying here for a while.
this law is a huge stinking pile of crap. !
and will be effective here in japan in 4 minutes time...

it shows the lack of understanding towards the importance of culture from an aging and beurocratic (sexist also) government.

arts (including music) is incredibly poorly supported in japan, in comparison to europe, and though over the past years an increase in the selling of second hand goods as opposed to disposal has helped the environment.... it seems it has not helped the government.... who i feel would rather electronics companies continue to develop and sell modern goods and increse revinue for them, than to promote the reuse of older goods....

its a big shame, and with many many related issues....

i have many rare electronic items in my studio not listed in the vintage instruments list....

also, the arp 2600 is missing.....

japan is a wonderful country run by stupid old men.... sounds like many oher countries. ;)
i think i will set up a shop to sell my SAKATA DPM-48 drum machine..... just a quick test to see if this irresponsible law has any way of really being policed.... ;0
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