Japan’s multi-billion-dollar pornographic industry has issued a formal apology and promised to change after allegations that women were forced to perform sex acts on film against their will.

The apology comes after three talent scouts were arrested in Japan for coercing a woman to perform in more than 100 phonographic films over several years.

According to Sky News, campaigners have said that the practice was widespread and welcomed the apology as “the first of its kind”.

The Intellectual Property Promotion Association (IPPA), which represents Japan’s adult film industry, said in a statement that it will, “encourage producers to take action to quickly improve the situation and restore the soundness of the entire industry”.

“The association deeply regrets that we had failed to take initiatives (to deal with problem before). We are very sorry.”

Police arrested three men this month, including a 49 year old executive of Tokyo-based agency Marks Japan for susceptibly violating the country’s labour laws. The talent agency allegedly forced the victim, who thought that she was working as a model, to perform in adult videos by warning that she would have to pay penalties for breaching the contract if she refused.

The dark side of the industry is not discussed openly in Japan, despite pornography being widely available. The rights of those who work in the industry is discussed even less.

A coalition of campaigners and attorneys are urging authorities to crack down on sexual mistreatments. Activists are pointing to abuses such as coercive or fraudulent signing of contracts that sometimes target minors. Some actresses have said that they were forced to engage in repeated intercourse without protection and were even gang-raped during filming.

Shihoko Fujiwara, a campaigner of Lighthouse, a non-profit that aims to help human trafficking victims, said that the apology was applauded but also said that not all porn producers belong to the industry lobby. She added,


“Some 20 per cent of adult film producers do not belong to the group while others run underground operations… “I believe this is the first statement of the kind issued by the industry group, but the remaining 20 per cent and some illegal porn producers need to comply with the rules, which would require the government to take action.”

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