SENDAI - Seven female members of the Miyagi Prefectural Assembly asked the governor on Friday to remove a tourism promotion video the prefecture is using on the internet, claiming it portrays women as sex objects.
The video, featuring Dan Mitsu — a well-known model and actress — in a kimono, showcases specialties and tourist spots in the prefecture but also contains sexually suggestive scenes, including one in which the camera zooms in on her parting lips.
The video available on YouTube has been viewed over 1.7 million times.
The prefectural government told the assemblywomen Friday that it has no intention of complying with their request.
“We will keep the video streaming because we have received positive reactions, too, but I will duly convey your opinion to the governor,” Deputy Gov. Akiyoshi Kawabata said.
In a letter to the deputy governor, the women, who belong to a group linked to the Democratic Party and Japanese Communist Party, protested that “the video, made with money earmarked for reconstruction (from March 2011), will not convince people elsewhere in the country to visit Miyagi.”
The video was created by the prefectural government and East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) Gov. Yoshihiro Murai said earlier this month the mixed reviews showed the campaign had been successful. “It is regrettable our request was not accepted,” said Miyuki Amashita, a Japanese Communist Party assemblywoman, adding that the video was the wrong way to promote the rich nature and culture that Miyagi has to offer.