crime

Man arrested for spreading false Twitter rumors about five Japanese idol singers for revenge

19 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Being an idol singer in Japan means being judged as much for your appearance and projected personality as your singing and dancing talent, and so anyone stepping into the industry will definitely benefit from having not only a pretty face, but also thick skin. When people make disrespectful comments about a particular performer, often her only course of action is to stay strong and not let it affect her, but this week one disgruntled idol fan’s online hatred has landed him in trouble with the law.

Police in Tokyo have arrested Akihiro Kaku, a 50-year-old resident of the Nishi Ochiai neighborhood of Shinjuku Ward. The arrest comes as a result of comments Kaku posted on Twitter in May of 2019.

Among the comments Kaku made via the social network was one in relation to Marina Nishigata, a member of Nigata Prefecture-based idol unit NGT48. “Using stimulants has ruined her thought process and sense of humanity, so no matter what you say to her, it’s pointless,” Kaku tweeted, with the term he used for “stimulants,” kakuseizai, generally being used in Japanese to refer to methamphetamines. Other comments Kaku posted insinuated that fellow NGT48 members Minami Kato, Yuka Ogino, Ayaka Tano, and Eno Yamada also were users of illegal drugs.

After becoming aware of the posts, NGT48’s management company requested assistance in determining the identity of the person who had sent the tweets, with the ensuing investigation leading to Kaku, who was arrested on July 21 on charges of libel. Kaku has admitted to the charges, saying “I suspected the five of them were involved in the assault of another NGT48 member, and I didn’t trust them. My aim was to damage their public images.”

While not mentioning her by name, Kaku is no doubt referring to Maho Yamaguchi, who was attacked by two men at the entrance to her home on Dec 8, 2018. After being asked by NGT48’s management company to wait to go public with the incident, Yamaguchi broke her silence one month later. Following her announcement, there was speculation among fans other members of the group had leaked Yamaguchi’s home address and/or schedule to her attackers, and Kaku apparently believed that the five women he accused of drug use in his tweets were responsible, despite internal and police investigations determining that no NGT48 member had any criminal culpability.

Deplorable as Kaku’s motivation may have been, some may find it surprising that you can get arrested in Japan for Twitter accusations that a celebrity uses drugs. However, the Japanese entertainment industry routinely takes an extremely strict anti-drug stance, with studios and music companies quickly cutting ties with even A-list talent if they’re found to have been in possession of illegal substances, and often also purging the performer’s completed works from circulation. As a result, Kaku’s accusations of drug use had the potential to severely damage the careers, and livelihoods, of the idols he was trying to spread false rumors about, resulting in proof that, hard as it may be to believe at times, there actually is a limit to what idol fans are allowed to get away with saying.

Source: NHK News WebMSN/Mainichi Shimbun

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Idol singer who was attacked at home removes affiliation with idol group from Twitter profile

-- Idol says her on-stage apology after being attacked was something her managers forced her to do

-- Japanese boy tries to wipe away the tears of assaulted idol singer he sees crying on TV

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
Login to comment

A 50 year old man who follows an idol group is pretty creepy. And taking to Twitter to try to bring down their image...is super creepy.

16 ( +19 / -3 )

No free speech it seems, in Japan...

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

Falsely accusing a bunch of kids in the public eye of drug use is hardly free speech.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

This article is talking about the Japanese version .jp of twitter, Just like here in Malaysia we have a Malaysian version of twitter .my, The US version is .com

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Glad he's been charged. People hide behind anonymity to spread downright lies

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Fifty years old and following 'idol' groups...get a life!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The sad TRUTH is these idol groups in fact DO target people in their 50s, I will let others try to guesstimate what percentage older men make of the fan base but make no mistake these groups management DO target this segment for $$$

I think some of the supposed mangers of these groups should be charged & in jail for various reasons!!!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You were maybe expecting good judgement from a 50 y.o. fan of female teen-idol bands?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

OK, he is a creep, but getting arrested for some Twitter posts?? That sounds insane.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

A typical litmus of libel is if any reasonable person would actually believe the lie. Who the hell would believe this from this nobody? This is a complete waste of police resources.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

However, the Japanese entertainment industry routinely takes an extremely strict anti-drug stance, with studios and music companies quickly cutting ties with even A-list talent if they’re found to have been in possession of illegal substances, and often also purging the performer’s completed works from circulation

Japanese entertainment industry is another word for hypocrisy. Drug abuse, sex affairs, sexual and power harassment and corruption are common in that industry, yet when there is a scandal, they excommunicate the artists involved and act like they are the purest industry in the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How is this "revenge"?  For what?  Seems he was just being a d""k

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Arrested? Good lord.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It’s more laughable and sad than it is a threat to public safety. 50 years

old and obsessed with idols. Yikes. He sounds like a real catch

1 ( +1 / -0 )

no freedom of speechin japan and this 50 year old is a probably just some random ojisan and the Media took his comments soo seriously and had the police arrest him for false accusations of heresay against a group of japanese idols. Okay time to stop using twitter if you have no rights to freedom of speech?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Freedom of speech is one thing, spreading viscous false rumours is another - that is libel.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So what, who cares what this gut tweeted? Arrested? Unbelievable.

A tiny bit of investigation into the disgusting abuses inside the idol industry would turn up FAR worse than what this guy tweeted. But we mustnt go there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No free speech it seems, in Japan...

but getting arrested for some Twitter posts?? That sounds insane.

I won't sound too insane when these girls commit suicide. Good deed by the cops for taking this serious.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No free speech it seems, in Japan...

There is a difference between free speech and libel. Surprised that people don't understand that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites