The nations clubbers are rejoicing after being told that next year they'll be free to throw shapes in clubs after midnight
Japan's clubbers have been oppressed since World War Two by a law that's totally anathema to the very idea of going out. They weren't allowed to dance in public places unless the venue had a license, and even licensed premises had to stop all dancing by midnight. Imagine having to leave clubs at midnight like a gang of sober Cinderellas.
The ban was put in place to limit dancehalls because they were often a place people went to pick up prostitutes. However, some rebels continued to disobey the archaic law and police were known in the 20th century to turn a blind eye to the fact that people were throwing shapes past 12am.
Japanese revellers took advantage of this, ended up getting a bit too messy; celebrity drug scandals and nightclub brawls left authorities unimpressed. Nightclub raids became common again, leaving dancers unable to do their thing.
But a country that outlaws dancing can't uphold a ban like that forever. A campaign lead by Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto got 150,000 signatures, forcing authorities to listen to its restless people. The law will come into force next year, until which point after-hours dancing will remain illegal. Japan's public also has 2020 Olympics to thank for this – the Japanese Government wants foreign visitors to be able to enjoy themselves (and spend their foreign dollar).
People in Sweden are probably hopeful that their government will follow in Japan's footsteps. In Sweden, "spontaneous dancing" is forbidden and bars, clubs and pubs have to have a dancing license if their patrons want to shake down. Swedish politicians this year tried to lift the ban, but failed. Maybe this breakthrough in Japan will inspire Swedish authorities to follow suit. Fuck dancing bans.