Many young women who signed contracts with talent agencies to become fashion models or idols have been asked to perform sex acts on camera, with some giving in to such requests, a government survey showed Wednesday.
The online survey conducted last December by the Cabinet Office covered 197 women who signed contracts with talent agencies. Of the total, 53 respondents, or 26.9 percent, said they had been asked to participate in the shooting of porn pictures or videos, which they did not know or was not included in their contracts, it said, adding that 17 women, or 8.6 percent, actually did what was requested.
The number of respondents was narrowed from 2,575 women who had been scouted or applied to become models or TV personalities.
It is the first survey by the Cabinet Office on sexual incidents involving young female aspirants seeking to enter show business. A government official said the results probably represent the tip of the iceberg and suggested that many of the women victimized in such incidents feel they are unable to seek help from others.
“We have to improve the support system and create an environment in which victims would feel free to talk to somebody about their problem,” the official added.
The results follow a recent series of revelations by young women who came forward with stories of being coerced into making adult videos against their will. Japan has drawn international criticism for its tolerance of pornography.
Human Rights Now, a rights advocacy group that provides counseling services, said the number of women who came to them for help claiming to have been coerced into appearing in pornographic videos increased to 81 in 2015 from 32 the previous year.
Asked why they took part in sex acts on camera, 35.3 percent in the government survey said they wanted money, 29.4 percent replied they were told it was stated in their contracts, and 23.5 percent said they were told that refusing the requests would bother other people, including their office managers.
Many of the respondents said they could not consult with anyone because they felt “ashamed” or they did not want their family or friends to find out.
Regarding their ages, 36.0 percent were 18 or 19, followed by 32.5 percent who were between the ages of 20 and 24, and 32.0 percent who were under the age of 18, according to the tally.