On November 14, a female college student filed a suit in the Tokyo District Court against network Nippon TV, which cancelled an informal employment agreement following revelations about her employment history.
Earlier this year, Rina Sasazaki, a 22-year-old senior at Toyo Eiwa University, admitted that she had worked part-time as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s Ginza entertainment area. Her history, the network subsequently determined, reflected a lack of “integrity,” which is necessary for the position, and her unofficial offer was terminated.
Such an evaluation of women in the hostess trade is not sitting well with the denizens of Ginza, as weekly tabloid Flash (Dec. 2) discovers.
“If Ginza is a place for people lacking ‘integrity’ I would like to ask NTV executives why they come to such a place to drink,” says Yoshimi Ito, the mama-san of Club Yoshimi.
Based on past legal determinations, the lawsuit demands that the offer to Sasazaki be reinstated by NTV, where she was originally scheduled to begin working in April.
In September of last year, NTV began training Sasazaki, who two years before Sasazaki represented Toyo Eiwa University in the Miss Contest pageant, an annual event featuring contestants from universities across the nation, and provided her an informal agreement (or naitei), which is typically provided by companies when hiring university graduates.
However, NTV notified Sasazaki on May 28 that the agreement had been cancelled. The month before, the student had informed the personnel department of NTV that she was employed part-time between her sophomore and junior year at a hostess club operated by a friend of her mother.
“Your history is not appropriate to work as an announcer, a position that requires a person of integrity,” the head of the personnel department at NTV wrote to her in explaining the termination.
NTV maintains that Sasazaki did not disclose her work background previously, while the student says she was not asked to reveal all of her previous jobs.
Sasazaki says that the station is viewing her past work as a hostess in an unfair light, and in that regard she has supporters in Ginza.
“Ginza is a gathering area that provides a soothing sensation,” says Club Yoshimi’s Ito. “Young girls can in the company of older men acquire refinement and knowledge with regards to manners and etiquette in great abundance. One does not learn these kinds of things at home or school.”
Ito encourages Sasazaki to visit Club Yoshimi.
“All of Ginza is rooting for you,” Ito says.
The trial is scheduled to continue on January 15. (K.N.)
Source: “Nihon tere joshi ana naitei torikeshi ni dokyoku kanbu kayo Ginza mama ga oo fundo,” Flash (Dec. 2, page 13)