Historically, the phonological system of Japanese did not allow voiced geminate obstruents, and they can be found only in recent loanwords such as /baggu/ bag and /kiddo/ kid. However, the voicing of geminates in such loanwords is problematic, and seemingly voiceless pronunciations are often to be heard. In a nonsense word study, three speakers read words exemplifying all potential voiced geminate obstruents, together with their voiceless and singleton counterparts, and measures were made of four possible voicing cues. The duration of closure voicing, and to a lesser extent F0 perturbation, suggest unvoicing of the geminates; but F1 transition resembles that for voiced sounds, while preceding vowels are actually longer before geminates than before singletons. Overall, it seems that laryngeal activity in geminates results from a pattern of deliberate control rather than the aerodynamic challenge of maintaining voicing during a long obstruent articulation.