Tokyo court rules in favor of woman forced into porn

Lawyer Kazuko Ito
Lawyer Kazuko Ito

TOKYO (TR) – Last month’s ruling in favor of a woman who was forced to make adult video (AV) productions against her will is being viewed by her lawyer as a landmark for women’s rights, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Sep. 29).

On September 9, the Tokyo District Court dismissed a claim by a talent agency against a woman in her 20s who had terminated her employment contract. The agency was seeking more than 24.6 million yen in damages, which included a payment of 10 million yen for breaching the contract and the production costs to make nine planned AV films.

Lawyer Kazuko Ito, who represented the woman, said at a press conference on Tuesday that the ruling sends a strong message in favor of the rights of women, who are repeatedly victimized in the industry. “I want legislation to tackle regulation of the AV industry,” the lawyer said, according to TBS News (Sep. 29)

Presiding judge Katsuya Hara said that it was legally justifiable for the defendant to violate the terms of her contract due to the sexual nature of performing in AV films. “The performer should be able to raise an objection,” the judge said.

The woman, who was was not named in news reports, had originally been recruited by a street scout who asked her if she was interested in being a television personality. She subsequently performed in a number of illicit shoots for the company as a minor. After she reached 20 years of age, her work turned starring in AV productions, for which she begrudgingly obliged.

Through the help of People Against Pornography and Sexual Violence (PAPS), the woman terminated her contract.

Setsuko Miyamoto, the director of PAPS, said that there have been more than 93 similar cases in Japan since 2012. At the same press conference, she encouraged other victims to seek help.  “If you are in trouble, please consult with us,” she said, according to Nikkan Sports (Sep. 29).

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