Japanese government wants to crack down on performer coercion in pornography

After the media controversy comes the government crackdown.

The biggest story in the adult industry last year was when the widespread coercion in the porn industry was finally exposed after several famous performers came forward, in addition to multiple arrests and prosecutions.

It led to an official apology from the industry, though can we really hope that things will really improve when the industry is so large and its needs so rampant? (After all, such coercion is also endemic for gravure idols, music idols and the general entertainment world.)

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Kyodo now reports that the government wants to take action on the issue.

The Japanese government decided Friday to crack down on scouts who force women to appear in pornographic videos, part of a series of emergency measures to combat sexual exploitation.

The plan involves punishing coercive scouts through an application of the charge of rape in Japan’s Penal Code.

The government panel on the issue also decided to designate April as awareness month. April marks the start of the new school and business year in Japan, when changes in young people’s living circumstances may make them particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

Katsunobu Kato, minister in charge of gender equality, told a meeting of the panel that longer term measures will be compiled in addition to the urgent crackdown.

Also included in the panel’s measures are awareness initiatives at high school and university orientations and a commitment to raise awareness of consultation services for people forced into the porn industry.

The panel also has “JK businesses” (dating and sex services with high school girls) in its sights, which are the current target of a concerted government and police crackdown as the nation prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and cleaning up its image.

Earlier in the year the Komeito party formed a project team to address the problem.

Coercion has been an open secret for far too long and the industry needs to reform for the well-being of all the performers. If this means there are a few less debutants out of the thousands every year and a few less films made with the dozens of uncredited performers (kikaku joyu) whose job it is just to be screwed for a few thousand yen, then so be it.

However, we are not sure if government intervention is the answer to the problem. It may just push the scouts and operators underground, as is surely going to happen with JK businesses. And then it may be even harder to help the women in need.

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