Japan Cracks Down on Modeling Agencies Allegedly Coercing Women to do Porn

Executives of a popular modeling agency in Japan have been arrested following allegations from a model who claims she was forced into performing in sex films.

Japanese authorities announced on Monday that they arrested Takashi Kozasu, president of Marks Japan, and two other executives, reported the Japan Times. The executives reportedly broke the Japanese law that protects workers from doing jobsthat go against public morals.

Tokyo Metro Police raided Marks Japan’s office in late May after a young woman claimed she was blackmailed into engaging in a sex act while working over two days in 2013.

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The unidentified woman reportedly signed up as a fashion model for Marks Japan in 2009 but was forced to repeatedly perform sexual acts on camera. The woman, who is in her 20s, said she was threatened with financial penalties if she didn’t follow her “contractual” obligation. She ended up doing more than 100 sex videos before her contract ended in 2014.

The Los Angeles Times reported that human rights groups have called for government action on the issue plaguing the multi-billion dollar Japanese porn industry.

According to a report published in March by Tokyo-based advocacy group Human Rights Now, porn production firms recruited men and women by signing them up with fake fashion-modeling contracts. These individuals were then coerced into participating in pornographic films.

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Shihoko Fujiwara, founder of advocacy group Lighthouse: Center for Human Trafficking Victims, said that more than 100 individuals have filed complaints of coercion practices in the industry. About 10 percent of the complaints were from men.

When they turn up on set they are informed that it is a porn shoot,” Fujiwara said. “They beg to quit or go home but are threatened to be charged millions of yen for penalties for contract violations and often end up giving in. The results are life devastating.”

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