Pairity for charity: Tokyo porn channel raises funds for AIDS

By on August 22, 2010 under Adult Video,Society

Promotional event in August at Loft Plus One in Kabukicho

Promotional event in August at Loft Plus One in Kabukicho

TOKYO (TR) – Very few company presidents could sit in a conference room and casually explain why he will later this month allow the general public to enter his corporate headquarters and fondle the breasts of a selection of the female staff for a modest donation to charity. Yet Tsuyoshi Shiba, chief of provocative porn channel Paradise TV, is indeed one of them.

“By simply broadcasting our programs, that is one way to interact with society,” says the soft-spoken 60-year-old from beneath a billowing mane of dark hair. “But we wanted a more direct interaction with our viewers so that we can better distinguish ourselves.”

The use of “direct” might be the understatement of the year.

Over the last weekend of August, viewers are invited to the Shinjuku studio of Paradise TV, which will be broadcasting live on its satellite provider Sky PerfecTV!, to grasp the exposed chests of five of the female staffers who anchor the channel’s naked news programs — and yes, the segments are exactly as revealing as the name implies — for a suggested donation of 1,000 yen that goes to the prevention of AIDS, a condition that continues to be a worsening problem in Japan.

In its eighth year, the “24-Hour TV: Eroticism Saves the Earth” telethon annually raises around 2 million yen. But the numerical figure is not important; it is about the message. “When we started, AIDS was still being widely discussed,” continues Shiba. “However, the issue began to slowly fade from view. So I’ve felt that this drive must continue in the hopes that awareness of the problem will not be lost.”

Other events aimed at getting viewers to tune in include a “strip” mahjong exhibition, where porn actresses compete and slowly disrobe as the game of tiles progresses, and a masturbation relay, which involves multiple actresses manually stimulating themselves with viewers able to watch the proceedings uninterrupted on the Paradise TV Web site and for short instances during the regular live broadcast.

Many of the garments worn by the female participants will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. It has not been unusual for popular actresses to have seen their bras and underpants (with perhaps a signed DVD or poster included) fetch upwards of 50,000 yen during past telethons.

Promotional event in August at Loft Plus One

Loft Plus One in Kabukicho

Humor, too, is part of the attraction. In true Paradise TV fashion of never ignoring the potential for parody, the girls baring their bosoms, are referred to as OKB24, a knock upon idol group AKB48. “OKB” is short for oppai monde kansha kangeki bokin shite kurete arigato, roughly meaning “donate and take a satisfying breast squeeze,” and “24” refers to the event’s duration. Likewise, the “Eroticism Saves the Earth” moniker takes a shot at Nippon Television’s simultaneous telethon “Love Saves the Earth,” a three-decade-old, celebrity-filled event that raises roughly 1 billion yen for causes related to the environment.

Given the seriousness of the AIDS situation, such frivolity might not appear to be in good form. But Paradise TV, which has made its name by broadcasting erotic shows that have included everything from bathroom peeping to lactating mothers to women who frequently engage in extra-marital affairs, sees it as the only way. “Our viewers expect a comedic approach from us,” explains Shiba. “We can’t change that. This is our way of allowing for the issue to be discussed.”

Yet should the entertainment element overshadow the message of the weekend, guests arriving at the studio will see no shortage of the campaign graphic, drawn by artist Tetsuya Koshiba and found on pink t-shirts and posters, that shows a curvy, long-haired girl waving a wrapped condom above the exclamation “Stop! AIDS.” Boxes of condoms and bracelets carrying prevention slogans, too, will be readily available for distribution.

Experts say that proper condom usage is a key to reducing the spread of HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, and over the last decade and a half, the general trend of reported HIV infections and AIDS cases in Japan has been that of a steady increase.

In an interesting development, data released earlier this year by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare showed that the total number of new cases of HIV and AIDS recorded last year (1,021 and 431, respectively) had actually fallen compared to that of 2008. The combined total, 1,452, represents a drop of 105 over the year before.

But the figures are misleading, explains the Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention (JFAP), which supports the Paradise TV drive. The foundation says that the outbreak of H1N1 — or “swine flu,” as it is commonly labeled — occupied the resources of many health centers last summer, when HIV-testing campaigns are typically held. “The reported number of new detections was reduced,” says Yasushi Sawazaki, director of the program operation section, from the foundation’s offices in Chiyoda Ward. “But it does not mean that there has been a real decline.”

For its part, Paradise TV requires actors to wear condoms during regular filming — even if that means losing some of the spontaneity that the channel is known for. “It’s a must,” says Shiba.

Promotional event in August at Loft Plus One in Kabukicho

Promotional event in August at Loft Plus One in Kabukicho

JFAP spends much of its resources in the gay community. Last year, 70 percent of new HIV infections were the result of men having sex with men. Community Center Akta, which opened in 2004 through funding from JFAP, is a drop-in office that provides safe-sex advice in Tokyo’s gay enclave of Shinjuku Ni-chome, which has roughly 300 gay bars and clubs.

Shiba admits that the gay population is not a target audience for Paradise TV, but argues that a broader perspective is the best view. “Some people get HIV from a blood transfusion,” he says. “It also is possible for a baby in the uterus to be infected by a mother who has HIV. So we don’t want to target any single population; instead we are looking at the whole picture.”

The president wants to continue with the event at least until it reaches its tenth year. After that, he is not certain of the direction, only maintaining that the expectations are high. “We wanted to make a connection, to transcend simple broadcasting with this event,” he says, “and we have done that. That was phase one. Our next mission is to cultivate something that will provide a similarly big jump.”

Note: Paradise TV (Sky PerfecTV! channel 913) will broadcast “24-Hour TV: Eroticism Saves the Earth” from 7 p.m. Aug. 28 until 8 p.m. Aug. 29.

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Written by on August 22, 2010. Filed under Adult Video,Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry.