TOKYO (TR) – When a business faces a slump, one option for turning its fortunes around is to offer a new product or service.
For one struggling medical clinic in Tokyo, that concept was taken to extremes last year: The head doctor opened a talent agency for the adult video (AV) industry with a female employee as his first client.
According to the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 15), the woman subsequently appeared in several films under the name “Rie Takimoto” for label Soft On Demand, and now she is claiming noted director Goro Tameike coerced her into having sex with him, the latest black mark against an industry that has recently received pressure from the government about its practices.
According to Takimoto, she was forced to have full sex with the director on camera after being shown a script that did not include such an act. “I was shocked, but I had no choice other than to respond since I couldn’t decline because of the atmosphere on the set,” she told the Sankei.
The story begins in early 2016, when Takimoto was employed at the aforementioned clinic part-time. With business stagnating and Takimoto having a keen interest in entering the AV industry, both she and the director answered an advertisement placed by SOD in June that sought new female talent.
SOD subsequently sought to hire Takimoto through an agency. As a result, the then clinic director established Verte Ange Production, the agency that would retain her. He then came to terms with SOD for a contract in which she would appear in three films.
Takimoto’s debut title was filmed in August. Titled “ED Treatment: Rie Takimoto As Medical Care Concierge,” the film was directed by Tameike.
In the film, Takimoto plays a nurse for a clinic that treats erectile dysfunction. Shot in the style of a documentary, the film centers on treating a male patient with the condition without the involvement of sex. Takimoto was only required to be nude for the shoot, which took place at the clinic of the aforementioned doctor while it was temporarily closed.
The problems started the following month during the shooting for the second title, which was also directed by Tameike. According to the doctor-turned-agent, Tameike said beforehand “to stay quiet [about the sex on camera] with Takimoto.”
Takimoto recalled to the Sankei: “I knew at the time that there could’ve been the possibility of [having sex] in the next title. But the thing is, no one explicitly explained that to me before the fact, and the script I was given the day of the shooting day only said, ‘From this point onward, things hinge on how the circumstances unfold.’”
The shoot dragged on. “So I was thinking [sex] was not happening after all,” she said. “And then suddenly, Tameike says to me, ‘For the last scene, we’ll be filming sex featuring just you and me.’ I was shocked, but I was tired, and I couldn’t refuse because I thought, ‘If I refuse now, all of the shooting until now would be for nothing. I’d also cause trouble for the staff.’”
In January, political party Komeito formed a project team to tackle what is considered a social problem in Japan: young women being coerced into appearing in AV productions after being led to believe they would become models or idols.
A government survey found that one in about four women who signed on to be models were asked to take part in sexual acts that were not disclosed when they accepted their contracts.
Proposals submitted to the Diet by Komeito include strengthening the support system for such women by establishing facilities in prefectures where victims can discuss their problems.
Komeito is also pushing for campaigns to promote public awareness at educational institutions to strive to prevent instances of coercion and the toughening of regulations against content that includes extreme sexual content, such as rape.
Lawmaker Sayaka Sasaki, chairperson of the project team, said in March she hopes for “aggressive action so there will be no more suffering, even if that means just one less case.”
From January to November of last year, a total of 148 persons sought help from non-profit organizations Lighthouse and People Against Pornography and Sexual Violence (PAPS). In spite of not representing a full 12 months, the figure is a significant increase over the 83 cases from the year before and the 29 cases from 2014.
In the case of Takimoto, her agent told the Sankei that Tameike made her cry numerous times during shooting by making her talk about her painful past. “Takimoto became mentally unstable because of factors like fatigue due to the extended period required for the shoot, and a sort of mind control-type of brain-washing, so her judgment was compromised,” he said.
Takimoto says that if there’s going to be a shoot involving sex then women ought to be told in advance to prepare themselves. “So that should be written in scripts or explained beforehand,” she said. “I’m sure there are women out there who, like me, were suddenly ordered to do things that weren’t written in the script, and they couldn’t refuse because of the atmosphere on set, so they were forced to do acts that go against their intentions. I never want things like this to happen again.”
In January, Takimoto posted a video on YouTube that attacks SOD. In response, SOD and Tameike posted a statement on the company’s website on January 31. The shoot, according to the company, proceeded smoothly without any grievances or complaints from Takimoto or her agent. The pair were also told before filming that “there is sex involved in the second title” and that “there is a possibility the other actor will be Tameike.” It added that Takimoto told an SOD employee in December that she “wants to work hard as an AV actress from now on.”
Tameike also claimed in the statement that Takimoto wasn’t upset during the shoot. “In fact, she actually seemed to be enjoying it,” he said.
“As for why I brought up her past, it was because I wanted her to gain more fans who’d want to support her. Takimoto was able to pull off a scene with me where we talk about the past. It’s troubling when that’s claimed to be brain-washing,” Tameike said. “To publicly announce that this case is brain-washing, when it isn’t even coercion or brain-washing, actually pours cold water on the efforts of victims and former female actresses who have been courageously coming forward about the issue [of forced appearances in adult videos].”
Takimoto finished shooting her third title under a different director and terminated the contract with SOD, which resulted in her retirement. She has no plans to request that her existing titles be taken off the market. “I don’t want to deny my work,” she said.
Tameike initially agreed to an interview with Sankei, but days later an intermediary agent told the paper he was unable to do so.