It has come to light that despite earlier reports, rape games have not actually been banned in Japan.
The whole thing was made up, says Canned Dogs, which translated the original Tokyo Broadcasting System report. The site claims TBS did an interview with the Ethics Organization of Computer Software, Japan's PC game rating agency, in the wake of the RapeLay scandal but then edited the footage to misrepresent the story. The EOCS then rejected a request for a second TBS interview so the broadcaster just ran with the story it had.
Abel Group Chairman Kanno Hiroyuki, one of the directors of the EOCS, said in his blog that none of the directors were aware of the supposed ban and that the EOCS has simply scheduled a meeting on June 2 to decide how to address the matter. He said he hopes an outright ban won't be necessary, "but tighter regulations is probably something that is unavoidable."
It's also been suggested that the whole thing could be a political ploy engineered by the New Komeito Party, which Kotaku notes is on record as opposing Japan's erotic games industry. Hiroyuki said the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry told a member of the NKP about the planned meeting of the EOCS, who then passed the information on to the TBS; somewhere in the chain, that information was "changed," resulting in the false report.
Canned Dogs quotes an eroge "industry guy" as saying that while nobody in the industry has any real information, an outright ban is extremely unlikely. "If it is really decided that rape games will be regulated we'll definitely at least have till past July to comply," he said. "The used game market will probably still be OK. The EOCS is currently in a situation where they might lose to outside pressure so please help them!"