Cops say blackmailing of actress foiled

Kyodo News

Three yakuza have been arrested on suspicion of trying to blackmail Filipino actress Ruby Moreno. The suspects denied the charge, it was learned Sunday.

According to police, the three, including Takayoshi Manda, 45, demanded that Moreno pay ¥1 million when she tried to quit her part-time job at a pub in Ueno Ward, Tokyo, that employs Filipino hostesses.

“Pay us ¥1 million if you are moving to another pub. You should tell your children and husband to be careful,” the three were quoted by police as telling the 43-year-old Moreno.

Manda is effectively an owner of the pub, where Moreno started working two years ago, the police said. They said she decided to quit after learning it was operated by yakuza members.

Moreno starred in the 1993 movie “Tsuki Wa Docchini Dete-iru” (“Where is the Moon?”), a love story about a Filipino woman working at a pub in Japan and a Korean taxi driver.

At one point she had moved back to the Philippines but now lives in Tokyo with her husband, the police said.