Following an emergency meeting of the Ethics Organization of Computer Software it has been determined, apparently for real this time, that rape games will be banned in Japan - sort of.
The meeting involved almost 100 representatives of various eroge companies but Canned Dogs says there was "surprisingly little" opposition to the proposed ban, with most seemingly resigned to the fact that rule changes were inevitable. Instead, the attendees were more concerned with determining what would and would not be acceptable.
Specific guidelines weren't set and until they are the EOCS will work with game companies on an individual basis to monitor new releases. Tighter restrictions on packaging and game titles are expected to take effect almost immediately, however; Syrup Soft has already responded to the new regulations by changing the name of its upcoming game Gang Raped by the Entire Village ~Girls Covered in Milky Liquid~ to The Trap Set by the Entire Village ~Bodies Covered in Milky Liquid~. It's a subtle distinction, yes, but apparently adequate; in-game content will not be modified.
The EOCS, much like the ESRB in North America, is a voluntary organization, so these proposed changes won't actually be enshrined in Japanese law. It sounds like games that cross the line will be refused a rating by the agency instead, which may keep them out of "mainstream" Japanese retail outlets but won't prevent their creation or distribution. An outright ban on the games seems very unlikely; while the genre might seem odd or outrageous to most North American gamers, it's estimated to account for 10-20 percent of the Japanese PC game industry, enough to give it a considerable amount of clout in the decision-making process.