National / Crime & Legal

Deceptive DVD maker held for allegedly coercing women into making porn videos

Kyodo

A man who ran an online porn DVD store was arrested Monday on suspicion of coercing an 18-year-old woman in Osaka to perform in a porn video after enticing her with an offer to be cast as a cosplay model.

Shinichi Kanazawa, 48, used similar techniques to prey on more than 200 women in Tokyo, Osaka and 17 other prefectures, most of them likely 18 or 19 years old, between 2012 and this year, police allege.

Kanazawa solicited women online to pose as cosplay models for photo shoots, promising to pay ¥50,000 a day, or ¥200,000 if they agreed to work for three days, the police said.

DVDs containing scenes of their sexual acts and appearing in swimsuits were sold under such titles as “Idol in the Making,” generating sales of about ¥147 million, the police said.

Kanazawa made women who showed up for the interviews hold their driver’s license or student ID in their hands while photographing them in an attempt to collect their personal information, they said.

He then paid for ¥15,000 worth of hair styling and made the women sign porn video contracts that contained a clause requiring them to pay penalties, including the styling expenses, if they breached the terms, and threatened consequences if they refused to appear in porn videos, the police said.

In the case of the Osaka woman, Kanazawa is alleged to have signed a contract with her in October 2014, when she was 18, to make a porn video of her, which likely violated a law banning solicitation for work considered harmful to public morality.

“I reassured her that the video would keep her face out. It was actually a porn video shoot,” Kanazawa was quoted by the police as telling investigators.

The police began investigating the case after a group supporting porn industry victims tipped off the National Police Agency in February.

According to a December 2016 Cabinet Office survey, around a fourth of the 197 teenage girls and women in their 20s and 30s surveyed had been asked to perform sexual acts during shoots, although they had signed contracts to perform modeling or other show business roles.

The Human Rights Now, a nongovernmental organization, received around 130 requests for help between 2012 and 2016 from people who made unwanted appearances in porn videos.

Earlier this month, the government decided to create posts at prefectural police forces nationwide to take charge of such matters to crack down on similar practices and improve assistance for the victims.