In the 2011 film “The Show Must Go On,” a camera follows the group AKB48 over a one-year period in providing a dream-like look behind the scenes at the members of the rabidly popular all-girl group.
For Takashi Nodera, a 38-year-old currently serving a prison term for sexual assault, he was actually living that dream — and then some.
According to Shukan Bunshun (April 2), the former manager stealthily shot hours of illicit video footage of group members in compromising positions before and after events held across the country over a one-year period.
Between 2007 and 2010, Nodera served as a board member of Office 48, which is the talent management company for AKB48. Three years after leaving the company, he was arrested for sexually assaulting an elementary school girl. He was subsequently sentenced to 16 months in prison.
During the investigation, police found 75 films totaling 15 hours in length of tosatsu footage (peeping videos) on the hard disk of his personal computer. Police also discovered more than 200 still images.
The videos of AKB48 members were shot between 2009 and 2010, and mainly consist of the girls changing clothes, taking breaks or using the bathroom.
In one 58-minute clip shot in 2010, an AKB48 member is seen lounging fully naked on a bed in a hotel room. Footage taken on New Year’s Eve in 2009 shows members inside a dressing room for NHK’s special “Kohaku Uta Gassen” program prior to and during the celebratory countdown.
It is clear Nodera had close access to the members. “I’ll be outside so you change in here,” he says to a girl in one of the clips, which later shows her strip out of her underwear.
In other instances, Nodera, who has a wife and child, planted a camera inside a bathroom that was used by members. He also used cigarette lighters and pens to conceal camera equipment.
A screen grab published by the magazine shows an access pass for Nodera dangling from a necktie that includes his name and photo.
This is not the first transgression of AKB48 management to be exposed by Shukan Bunshun. Previously, the magazine reported on relationships between executives of AKS, the company that manages the group, and former members Tomomi Kasai and Mariko Shinoda. In an expose published last year, the magazine chronicled the illicit activities of AKB48’s general manager, Tomonobu Togasaki, who was seen smoking drugs and meeting young girls at a Tokyo hotel.
When reached for comment, a representative of AKS said, “Since we are not able to confirm all the facts at this stage, we will withhold comment.” (A.T.)
Source: “AKB48 tosatsu jiken hannin ha jimusho moto yakuin,” Shukan Bunshun (April 2, pages 22-26)