JAKARTA - A popular Japanese children's cartoon in which the main character regularly displays his naked buttocks will be censored in conservative Indonesia after regulators criticised it as "somewhat pornographic", officials said Thursday.
The TV network that shows animation "Crayon Shin-chan" in the world's most populous Muslim-majority country has agreed to tone down "disturbing" scenes after the broadcasting watchdog voiced concerns.
The show follows the adventures of five-year-old Shinnosuke "Shin" Nohara and his family, often depicting his mischievous antics such as dropping his trousers or making inappropriate jokes, like asking elderly people: "When are you going to die?" The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission this week put the programme in the category "caution", a level below "danger" on the body's scale of how disturbing a programme is, commission member Agatha Lily told AFP.
"Many scenes considered humorous in Shin-chan are actually indecent and inappropriate for children, for instance Shin-chan pulling down his trousers to show his underwear or peeping at couples making out, scenes of sexy women in mini skirts, showing their cleavage, and men flirting," she said.
"While the content is not outright pornography in which body parts are clearly and explicitly shown, it is somewhat pornographic and can be associated with pornography." She said that the commission had ordered private TV network RCTI either to censor some scenes or show the cartoon very late - at a time it would miss its target audience of young children.
RCTI said it had received the warning letter and would comply with the watchdog's request.
"We will review the series and tone down the scenes considered disturbing, whether by blurring or cutting out parts. I believe fans will still enjoy the series," RCTI corporate secretary Adjie S. Soeratmadjie told AFP.
The commission, a government-backed body that monitors broadcasters, regularly carries out evaluations on programmes, weeding out sexually-explicit content it deems inappropriate.
In 2012, it banned broadcasters from playing 10 songs with sexually suggestive titles, some loosely referring to male and female genitalia.