Saki Kozai, once a hopeful actress, has revealed how she was tricked getting into Japan’s multi-billion-dollar porn industry.
In an interview with AFP, Kozai relived her memory of being scouted on a Tokyo street when she was just 24-years-old and promised a modeling job.
Excited at the thought of stardom, she quickly signed a deal with the agency that the modeling scout introduced her to.
But things took a sour turn when Kozai realized she needed to have sex on camera.
Now 30, she recalled the filming:
“I couldn’t take off my clothes. All I could do was cry. There were about 20 people around me, waiting. No woman could say ‘no’ when they’re surrounded like that.”
Kozai was eventually asked by her agency to cut off communication with her family. To deal with her situation, she sought tranquilizers until she “couldn’t make rational decisions anymore.”
Kozai’s experience may be common, as some critics claimed that porn agents deceive young women by promising showbiz careers. Allegedly, minors are also tricked.
Slightly different from Kozai’s story is that of an unidentified woman who said she got into porn after being promised a singing career.
The 26-year old remembered:
“The agency spent months trying to convince me. I had no choice [after signing the contract]. At first, I said I couldn’t do it. But when I did, it really hurt. The production team wouldn’t stop though.”
Aiki Segawa, spokesperson of anti-human trafficking group Lighthouse, said over 60 actresses reached out to them in the first half of 2016 alone:
“And we think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many victims feel guilty, thinking that what happened is their fault. They’re not necessarily all abused or locked up. It’s more like they are tricked into it.”
But there is hope. In June, three model scouts in Tokyo were arrested for forcing a woman to appear in 100 porn videos.
Last year, a Tokyo court also dismissed an agency’s bid for a 24 million yen (US $240,000) penalty from a woman who refused to get into porn.
As for Kozai, she has left her agency and considers filing a legal case with the court. She now works as a freelance porn actress, but hopes that no other girl will suffer the horror she’s been through:
“If I can become an example, other girls who face these kinds of problems might be saved.”