Debate on Whether Tattoo Is a Medical Practice in Japan
Since Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare regards tattoo as a medical practice, the accused was fined by the police for violating paragraph 17 of Physician Act. Oosaka District Court held that tattoo is a hazard to the health care such as bleeding and infection because it would damage the surface of the skin and destroy the microvascular network of the dermis, and therefore it should be a medical practice practiced by a physician. Although it could be restrictions on the business of tattoo artists, the requirement to obtain a physician license is the minimum mean, so it is not unconstitutional. Oosaka Hight Court rejected this perspective, holding that tattoo could be a risk to human health, but it is not a medical practice, because it is not medically relevant according to common sense, and that it could exceed the necessary limits and infringes on freedom on occupational choice to require the tattoo artists to obtain the physician license. Oosaka Hight Court found the accused not guilty as the consequence.