NGO calls for laws against forcing women to perform in porn videos
March 4, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Japan needs to impose tougher regulations to prevent young women from being forced to appear in pornographic videos after being solicited to become fashion models or TV personalities, a Tokyo-based human rights group said Thursday.
More such women are seeking help, with the number of counseling cases jumping to 81 in 2015 from 32 in 2014 — and only one case in both 2012 and 2013, according to Human Rights Now.
In many cases, young women signed contracts with companies without knowing that they would have to have sex with male actors to make videos. If they refuse, they face an extortionate penalty for breach of contract, or the threat their parents will be informed of their contracting to appear in porno videos.
A report compiled by Human Rights Now said one woman committed suicide because she was mortified that videos in which she appeared continued to be sold even after her contract was terminated. She strongly regretted having appeared in pornographic videos, which she did for about six months, according to the report.
“This is a serious human rights violation against women, given that they are forced into sexual acts against their will and the whole process will become publicly available almost permanently,” said Human Rights Now’s Secretary General Kazuko Ito.
There are legal provisions to protect laborers in Japan, but companies involved in recruiting women exploit loopholes and there are currently no laws to crack down on what the group sees as violations of these women’s human rights, the group said. It also said there is no government office to supervise video production companies.
Human Rights Now said Japan needs to outlaw such recruitment practices or the marketing of videos in which people are forced to appear against their will.