KYOTO (TR) – Toei Studios Kyoto announced on Monday that it was committed to breaking ties to organized crime, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 22).
Once known for its of yakuza films from the 1970s, the studio, located in Ukyo Ward, said it was taking a bold step. “Films and reality are different,” the studio said.
Such a stance follows the enactment in October of nationwide legislation that prohibits ordinary citizens from having business dealings with criminal organizations.
In April, a special mandate regarding the exclusion of gangsters was passed in Kyoto Prefecture and Toei Studios Kyoto was asked to lend support, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.
On the same day, the studio held a training session with police that was designed to assist in the elimination of gangster influences. The event was attended by many actors, actresses, and crew members. “To associate with gangsters is to waste a career as an entertainer,” warned a representative of the Kyoto prefectural police.
Afterwards, actresses and actors from Toei performed a skit in which gangsters demand a photo session outside a hotel. In another scene, actress Ayami Nakamura, 27, refuses to pay a gang boss a large sum of money for the purchase of a book.
“If I come across a scene similar to the skit, I’ll have a very strong feeling to want to reject involvement with gangs,” one actor told the Sankei.