crime

Japanese idol singer placed in safe house after rape threat

44 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

It’s no secret that Japan’s idol music industry thrives on encouraging fans to develop an extremely strong attachment to their favorite performers. But a fan starts posting online about a desire to rape a singer, even idol producers have to admit that a line has been crossed.

Such is the case of the idol who performs under the stage name Magical Girl Riripom, who made her musical debut in 2013. On Oct 21, a notice was posted on the official Riripom website, which began by thanking fans for their support and apologizing for the suddenness of the announcement that as of Oct 22, the singer would be ceasing all idol activities. Riripom’s scheduled concerts and other appearances have all been cancelled, with the notice once again expressing regret over the inconvenience this will cause organizers and fans.

The reason behind the decision is a fan who been making increasingly threatening statements regarding the singer. Despite warnings from Riripom’s managers, the fan, suspected of posting messages under multiple social accounts with different screen names, has gone so far as to say that “Going to prison for three years for raping her wouldn’t be so bad.”

Riripom’s managers have documented the threats and presented them to the police, who advised that she stop all idol activities while they move forward with a criminal investigation and, if possible, prosecution of the fan. Riripom has also been placed in a safe house in Tokyo, and is refraining from social media for the time being.

In light of recent acts of horrible violence that have been perpetrated on idols by deranged fans, the precautions hardly seem like an overreaction. The statement on Riripom’s website goes on to say that no decision has been made regarding whether or not the idol will resume performing after the threatening fan has been dealt with, and that the singer’s personal safety is their top priority.

While that’s an admirable sentiment, it’s somewhat undermined by the fact that, even now, the Magical Girl Riripom website lists her bust, waist, and hip measurements, as well as her shoe size, in her official profile.

Granted, listing the measurements of female entertainers is far from unusual in Japanese show business marketing, even for those without an entirely “sexy” image (although shoe size is an unusual extra detail). However, given the current situation Riripom finds herself in, having whoever is in charge of the website remove the information, and thus make it a little harder to imagine the contours of the idol’s body, seems like it would be a nice thing to do.

Sources: Hachima Kiko, Zakzak, Magical Girl Riripom official website

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Anime voice actress arrested for suspected cocaine possession, has name scrubbed from series cast -- Idol ordered to pay management company 650,000 yen after going to hotel with male fan -- Idol singer dating bans are unnecessary, say majority of Japanese college men in survey

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44 Comments
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the singer’s personal safety is their top priority

Yes.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This whole idol thing is ridiculous and they need to stop with the meeting the fans nonsense.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

No, the idol thing is not nonsense, its these lunatics that are nonsense, glad they are finally proactive but unless he will go to jail (which also will probably be short since he only made threats) she will not be safe.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Really happy to hear that something is actually being done, for once, to protect idols like Riripom. What happened to Mayu Tomita was horrific, and I hope nothing like that happens to Riripom. Now, if we could just get the management companies for idols to hire these really wonderful people called "Bodyguards" for their idols....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This situation should never have been allowed to develop this far, the police should have acted earlier or her agent / management team should have organised a "visit" to the fan to advise him to cease his little game or else.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Totally agree with Oldman.

This idol industry is creating all kinds of issues. These girls are not talented for their singing. Nor for their music. They are not modelling within the model industry. Nor are they actors. They are purely cute looking girls, preferably aged between 17 to 26, aimed at targeting lonely single men who are mainly aged between 30 to 50. They create this lonely mans dream and the handshaking and meeting sessions inflame it even further.

I would argue that men like this may never have created such a lonely world for themselves if they learned to meet and talk to women from a young age. This internet idol world is responsible.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Again, to all of the idol haters, if the girls are getting money, and the guys are getting someone to worship and a bit of happiness, really, what's the problem?

Anyways, hope this guy gets caught and his face gets plastered all over Japanese media. It's a shame because cancelled gigs means lost money for her, all because of this nut case.

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

Amusing so many think it's the idol industry that's the problem, classic victim bashing. If they honestly think that raping someone because of their industry or behaviour is appropriate, they are equally as bad as this wannabe rapist and should be jailed immediately to protect society from their predatory sexual behaviour

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Jalapeno, in reality however the girls are taking risks without much security just, as you say, for the money. And these guys should be learning to worship a real girlfriend or wife and finding happiness with a genuine partner. Worship is a good word. Because sometimes these guys will go over the top with it.

For me the idol industry would be fine if the girls were at least 25 and married or with partners, and the fans included girls and families. Lets be honest, the concept at the moment is young innocent-looking cute girls placed in front of single lonely men who spend far too much time locked in with the internet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

what's the problem?

are you sure you want to asking that? if so, read the article again. rinse. wash. repeat.

This girl here is 16. If the talent company isn't trying to sexualize her, why bother mentioning her measurements? That is the problem.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

For me the idol industry would be fine if the girls were at least 25 and married or with partners

Oh my, that's hardly fine. We need an idol industry with 'girls' that are at least 65 year old wrinkly grandmas with missing front teeth.

No fans will ever threaten these idols.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Amusing so many think it's the idol industry that's the problem, classic victim bashing. If they honestly think that raping someone because of their industry or behaviour is appropriate, they are equally as bad as this wannabe rapist and should be jailed immediately to protect society from their predatory sexual behaviour

? Eh? Yes some of us (quite a few of us) believe the idol industry is wrong. Its an opinion. But you are saying that our opinion is the same as being sexual predators?? I think you are very confused buddy. We are the ones wanting this predatory breeding ground shut down.

Gaijindesu, if it were down to me there would be no idol business. But to be fair, the age of 25 is mature enough to decide to do whatever you want.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

? Eh? Yes some of us (quite a few of us) believe the idol industry is wrong. Its an opinion. But you are saying that our opinion is the same as being sexual predators?? I think you are very confused buddy. We are the ones wanting this predatory breeding ground shut down.

Yes, it makes you the equivalent. You are saying that this guy wouldn't rape an innocent girl if she didn't join this industry, implying that innocent girls should be raped if they ever join this industry. If that is your opinion, then yes you deserve immediate jail and to be removed from civil society to make sure you never harm any women again

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Yes, it makes you the equivalent. You are saying that this guy wouldn't rape an innocent girl if she didn't join this industry, implying that innocent girls should be raped if they ever join this industry. If that is your opinion, then yes you deserve immediate jail and to be removed from civil society to make sure you never harm any women again

?? I think you do not fully understand my native English. So read this again. This idol industry is sick. It creates a false world of young girl worship for lonely men with no social skills who spend their lives stuck inside browsing the internet. The girls are making money because they cannot make money at anything more talented such as singing or acting or playing music (or working a day job). It is a sad little industry for sad little men. And for girls who are foolish enough to work within its poor security.

implying that innocent girls should be raped if they ever join this industry

Dont play games with a very serious incident. You know that is not what we are saying.

you deserve immediate jail and to be removed from civil society to make sure you never harm any women again

I take it this is a post from a fully paid up supporter of the idol girl business and someone who condones what this guy is threatening. Clearly.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Too many young Japanese men grow up living in a world of violent computer games and sexy too young idols. Something needs to change or is this part of "cool Japan"?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Takeda - who cares if the girl is 16? If the majority in the country are OK with that, if her parents are OK with that, and if SHE's ok with that, then let her reap the rewards for being cute and willing to put herself out there. She's bringing happiness and maybe a few nose bleeds to however many fans she has. Can you say the same about what you do?

Sexualized imagery? OF COURSE! That's business! When's the last time you saw an ugly female sports announcer in Japan? So the acceptable age for all of these AKB-ish idols dips into the mid teens. That's what makes this country "special."

The management company is actually taking the right steps to make sure no harm comes to her. But the potential is there for any celebrity - ANY celebrity, be they 16, 25, 65 - to have a deranged fan turn a party into an unwanted headline. There's always a few bad apples who ruin the fun for the many others who need someone to love. Celebrities know that. That's why they have security, or a posse, around them.

And stop telling these idol fans to get a real girlfriend. Have you seen them? What girl in their right mind would want to date someone like them, except maybe somebody of their type?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Jalapeno - idolising the cute looks of a 16 year old in front of socially-inept 30 and 40 something men is not right. 16 here is high school age and in the UK and US too.

There is nothing special about Japan's complete failure to stop promoting oversexism of teenagers bordering on paedophilia. Cutey tv announcers in their late 20's, fine. They are women.

Yes, the very reason why these guys are how they are is because it is too easy for them to withdraw into a world of cute teenagers. If that world was not available they would just have to go out there and meet normal women.

There is a huge difference between a deranged fan of an actor or singer losing the plot, and an industry that promotes deranged men to follow (stalk) these girls.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tigers - I reiterate...Have you seen these guys? What woman would want to date them? Are you telling them to suddenly develop a charming personality?

And who are you to decide 16 is not right? Age of consent in Japan is...drum roll please...

These girls are making money, money, and the guys get happy, happy.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Tigers - I reiterate...Have you seen these guys? What woman would want to date them? Are you telling them to suddenly develop a charming personality?

Sounds like a solid plan to me. I'm no David Beckham here, but getting women hasn't been a problem for me.

And who are you to decide 16 is not right? Age of consent in Japan is...drum roll please...

Generally over 16. Swing again.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Come on Jalapeno, I think you are a bit more sensible than that.

There is no officially documented age of consent in Japan. But lets say 16 was legal. Then it would be normal for a 16 year old girl to have relations with someone around her own age. But to place her up on a stage in front of men in their 30's and 40's?

16 is fine my friend. But 16 (17,18,19 etc) in that industry is asking for real problems. These guys don't get happy. They get more and more sexually frustrated if the girls are just for looking. No happiness there.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is no officially documented age of consent in Japan. But lets say 16 was legal.

The problem with that is this; There.

https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%25E6%2580%25A7%25E7%259A%2584%25E5%2590%258C%25E6%2584%258F%25E5%25B9%25B4%25E9%25BD%25A2&sa=U&ved=0ahUKEwiV2bPkv4TQAhXMfbwKHd_lAFcQFggPMAA&usg=AFQjCNEYGBAUaw_Row30tz4exsn11kp2Ew

National law sets Age of Consent at 13, but Prefectural Welfare laws are generally set higher.

That's,my problem with this. If an idol cannot consent to sex, why is it okay to profit from her sexuality?

Its morally flawed, but hinting at the sexual,availability of these young women also leads to this types of things. How many normal actors have been attacked in Japan in the past year?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

At last takeda.shingen, someone with a grasp of the real issues here.

The age of consent is not really part of the argument regarding this story. Somebody just raised it as an argument to say the sexual promotion of a 16 year old idol is ok. Which its not. But they did not really know the grey area surrounding the age of consent in Japan.

Again, takeda-shingen points out that this stalking-attacking thing is really an issue for the idol business and not really in other more normal industries.

The dangling of young girls sexuality in front of socially-challenged lonely men, and making money from that, is wrong.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Rape threat aside, any company that lists the breast size of a girl they are promoting as 16 years old should be shut down.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Again, takeda-shingen points out that this stalking-attacking thing is really an issue for the idol business and not really in other more normal industries.

Do you have stats to back this up? That stalking is an issue for the idol business and not others?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is no officially documented age of consent in Japan.

I asked a lawyer friend of mine once regarding this subject just out of curiousity. His response was this:

each prefecture can set a statutory age by themselves, but there is a national age of 13. In other words, a prefecture cannot set the statutory age at 12. They can at 13, should they choose to. But prefectures can have different statutory ages. Tokyo is 16. I don't know what the others are. So technically, say the Saitama age was set at, say, 15. You could date a 15 year old in Saitama, yet if you both were to go to a Tokyo Love hotel you can be arrested for doing something legal in a different prefecture.

That's what he told me. Mind you, this was about 10 years ago, and alot can change in that time, so I don't know the situation now. I'm just repeating what was explained to me then.

Hope that helped...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Gaijindesu, as I said earlier. The huge difference is between stalking, and an industry that promotes stalking as its fanbase.

Girls can get stalked by someone who commutes on the same train to work. That cannot be pre-empted. But the idol business promotes these men as fans. Big difference.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do you have stats to back this up? That stalking is an issue for the idol business and not others?

I don't have stats, this is all anecdotal. I have no idea where one could even find those stats. But, in the past year or so, there has been the hacksaw incident at Tohoku Idol meet and greet, the idol,stabbed in Tohoku, and now this. And honestly, I do not recall a single incident involving a regular actor/celeb.

To me, this is a perfectly logical to come to. Please do share if you have an relevant statistics, I'm all years.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Granted, listing the measurements of female entertainers is far from unusual in Japanese show business marketing, even for those without an entirely “sexy” image (although shoe size is an unusual extra detail). However, given the current situation Riripom finds herself in, having whoever is in charge of the website remove the information, and thus make it a little harder to imagine the contours of the idol’s body, seems like it would be a nice thing to do.

Erm... what?!

Are you suggesting that awareness of the idol's sizes is causing the fan to want to rape her? Because that's pretty unconventional to say the least. The desire to rape doesn't come from sexual arousal, obsessive fandom, or from know the body size of a celebrity. It comes from a disregard for women's and men's sexual autonomy and right to make decisions involving their bodies for themselves as sexual equals. Now, maybe there's a half-decent opinion piece that could be written about how the idol industry's promotion of these girls (including sharing their sizes with the world) promotes their de-humanization and disregard for their sexual autonomy. In fact I'd go so far as to say a well-written piece criticizing the de-humanization of Japanese celebrities is necessary. But to just declare that they should take down the sizes for the one woman who has been threatened so that her attacker can't imagine her? That's just bizarre.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Again, takeda-shingen points out that this stalking-attacking thing is really an issue for the idol business and not really in other more normal industries.

Because it is an entertainment business. Where stalking is somewhat of a problem (and still, probably not a large problem).

Why compare it to fruitpickers, cross country transport, other "normal industries", when it's not normal, it's entertainment? Entertainers are in public eye, have fans, and some of them get stalked.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

turbo,

Can you give me the name of 1 female celeb attacked in the past year?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

turbo, I think you know our meaning behind this. Stalking happens in all parts of life. And yes, more so in the entertainment industries. But our point was that the idol business is a breeding ground for these nutjobs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Takeda - Ever hear of Google? Try using it to find the age of consent in Japan. Grand slam, my friend.

Tiger - They sure look happy to me. Look at how they dance in unison and chant at certain points in the idols' songs. If that ain't happiness personified... well, what is?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

takeda.shingen.1991@gmail.com: turbo, Can you give me the name of 1 female celeb attacked in the past year?

Here, but I think you are proving my point, that it doesn't happen very often.

Tsukasa Aoi: stalker was arrested June 2016, for case similar to the article we are discussing now:

http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/news/1656440.html

セクシー女優の葵つかさが殺害予告受ける[2016年6月1日12時53分]

...

TigersTokyo: turbo, I think you know our meaning behind this. Stalking happens in all parts of life. And yes, more so in the entertainment industries. But our point was that the idol business is a breeding ground for these nutjobs.

Nutjobs also happen in all parts of life. If something doesn't happen very often, it's hard to say a business can be a breeding ground for it. And ... what's the margin of error?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So, what do they expect from this whole idol debacle. They parade teenage girls around in swimwear and other sexually exploitive garb and are surprised when the creeps come out? Remember one was attacked by a creep with a saw not so long ago. You have to be concerned to know that, the majority of the fan base for these idol groups is made up of middle aged men. I'm sure they are not fans of the music.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It’s because of my fascination with these idols that I am reading Japan news. (I'm an American.) I love them. And to contradict some of the chatter here about all the fans being toads, how can the thousands of worshiping fans at the concerts all be social rejects? Especially considering many are female. I have enjoyed many gorgeous girlfriends and my wife is one of the best-looking women I have ever seen. The attraction for idols is not all a vicarious substitute for girls fans can’t get on their own. There is deep Jungian psychology regarding the Anima and Imago Dei being beautifully actualized.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Takeda - Ever hear of Google? Try using it to find the age of consent in Japan. Grand slam, my friend.

I did. And then I posted the link. Nationally, the age is 13, but all but one prefecture have set the statute of limitations to 16-17 years of age. Nice try, chief, but Aly's lawyer friend (surprise, surprise) is spot on.

Tsukasa Aoi: stalker was arrested June 2016, for case similar to the article we are discussing now:

Again though, first line she is mentioned as a member of an idol group.

If something doesn't happen very often, it's hard to say a business can be a breeding ground for it.

Is it, though? If you know someone is a pyromaniac, and you collect twigs, and logs, and then give the pyromaniac a lighter. You absolutely are partly responsible.

When the idol industry pimps out young young women, many of them minors, forbids them from dating you know what's going on; you should know there may very be consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I missed Disillusioned comment prior to my last post or I would have addressed it as well. If the music is inconsequential, then why would millions of young people, including girls, love it? I like the music as much as the idols and J-pop tunes play all the time in my head, without picturing the girls singing them. I also like classical music, as do many of the J-pop performers. I can understand it, but I think it is constipation-minded when people diss the genre.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In light of recent acts of horrible violence that have been perpetrated on idols by deranged fans, t

Sorry, but just what "horrible violence" have been perpetrated? Alright one or two, sorry but in comparison to all the violence against women in this country the inference that idols are something special is ludicrous.

The management agencies bear a huge portion of the blame for any and all violence in the manner with which they portray these young women and look to sexualize them for profit.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsukasa_Aoi

Tsukasa Aoi (葵 つかさ Tsukasa Aoi,?) is a Japanese gravure idol, actress, television personality and AV idol.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Takeda - so she's within the age of consent. And she's consented to nothing but trying to make a bunch of fans happy. And what do you do to bring happiness to the world? Back to the minors for you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The idol industry promotes obsession with idols, akin to addiction. Most fans can handle it and it is not an issue. For more susceptible people though, this is what can happen.

Problems with male-female interaction though that create the "lonely man in front of a computer" type are a society-wide phenomenon. Such interaction is much more limited that in other countries where omiai and go-kon seem like alien concepts. I guess me and my wife would qualify as nampa-kekkon, but it is nothing my missus goes out of her way to tell people.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hicoway, I think you are getting a little muddled between mainstream J-Pop bands who started as idols and who are now in the charts as pop acts, and the much much smaller genre of individual girls who mainly promote on websites, apps, and make personal signing and handshaking appearances. I take it you are referring to AKB with millions of fans but they are a mainstream pop act now.

This incident highlights the smaller following of mainly individual girls who might do a karaoke-type session but basically get dolled-up and market these middle-aged psychos.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am so glad I am not famous. It is like being in jail...even if my shoe size is a 4.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They are just young entertainers. Nothing to do with age of consent rule in Japan. Entertainers are not prostitutes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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