"I couldn't take off my clothes. All I could do was cry"

Saki Kozai is amongst a number of Japanese actresses who have spoken up about being tricked into entering the porn industry.

At 24-years-old, Kozai was spotted by a model scout on Tokyo street, who offered her a job. Thinking that she was signing with a modelling agency, Kozai was excited to star in promotion videos. However, on her first day, Kozai discovered her job required her to have sex on camera.

Speaking to AFP, she said, “I couldn’t take off my clothes. All I could do was cry… There were about 20 people around me, waiting. No woman could say ‘no’ when they’re surrounded like that.”

Kozai said that she became hooked on tranquilizers to deal with the anxiety after the agency convinced her to cut off contact with her family to focus on her career. “I couldn’t make rational decisions anymore,” Kozai said, saying that the agency brainwashed her. She still continues to act in adult films as a freelancer.

Kozai, now 30, is amongst a number of women who are speaking up about how they were forced into the Japanese multi-billion-dollar porn industry.

In June, the industry issued a formal apology after allegations that women were forced to perform sex acts on film against their will. Allegations included performing brutal sex scenes or being filmed against their will.

Critics claim porn recruiters trick young women, including minors, with the promises of show business stardom and lavish lifestyles.

Another woman, 26, who preferred to remain anonymous, said she was tricked into the porn industry by an agent who promised her a singing career, “the agency spent months trying to convince me. I had no choice.”

“At first, I said I couldn’t do it,” she added. “But when I did, it really hurt. The production team wouldn’t stop though.”

Japanese non-profit group Lighthouse, which aims to eradicate human trafficking said that more than 60 actresses who were trying to escape from the industry have contacted them in the first half of 2016.

Spokeswoman Aiki Segawa said, “and we think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many victims feel guilty, thinking that what happened is their fault.”

In 2015, the Tokyo District Court dismissed an agency’s bid to extract a 24 million yen (US$240,000) penalty from a woman who refused to appear in adult films. Critics claim this is a rare legal victory.

Japan produces 30,000 adult films annually.

One woman tried to escape her past through repeated plastic surgery and one even hired a lawyer to prevent the distribution of the films she appeared in. Sadly, she hanged herself before proceeding with the case.

 

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