Photo: Twitter/@maho_yamaguchi
entertainment

Japanese idol singer who was attacked at home makes on-stage apology for 'causing commotion'

27 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Last week, idol singer Maho Yamaguchi, a member of Niigata-based multi-vocalist unit NGT48, broke a one-month silence about being attacked by two male fans as she entered her home.

The men, both 25-year-old university students, grabbed her face and otherwise jostled her while attempting to force their way inside the entryway to her home. The police were summoned before they could gain full entry, and the two men were arrested on assault charges. However, they denied any violent intent, saying “We wanted to talk with Ms Yamaguchi, and we didn’t think it would be such a big deal.”

The two men were subsequently released without charges being pressed, and in statements made through streaming video and her personal Twitter account, the 23-year-old Yamaguchi expressed her sadness and frustration at the lack of response from NGT48’s management in addressing the problem.

“I don’t want anyone else to have to go through this sort of thing, and so I had no choice but to tell everyone,” tweeted Yamaguchi, who also repeatedly reiterated that she did not want fans to think ill of NGT48 itself, and hoped they would continue to support the group.

The timing of Yamaguchi’s tweets came just one day before the three-year anniversary celebration of the opening of NGT48’s associated theater venue in Niigata City, which took place on January 10. Though Yamaguchi did not take part in the event’s opening musical number, she did join the festivities mid-way through, performing on stage before eventually taking a moment to address the fans.

With her voice cracking as she fights to keep from sobbing, Yamaguchi tells the audience “Recently, I caused a large commotion, and I am sincerely sorry.” She then bows deeply in apology before continuing:

“As I explained the other day, there are people I want to protect, and so I ended talking about the things I did. This has caused trouble for people who have helped and supported me, and I would like to apologize for that.

I want to continue working hard as vice-captain of Team G [one of NGT48’s three sub-units] and hope this can be the start of taking NGT48 in a new direction. I hope you’ll all continue to support NGT48.”

In her previous comments about the attack, Yamaguchi insinuated that the men who assaulted her had been able to find her home because of information they’d been supplied with by another idol in NGT48. The group’s official website has since been updated with a statement from the management confirming that another NGT48 idol (who remains unnamed) had been approached on the street by a man who asked her if she knew where Yamaguchi lived. The unnamed NGT48 member did not know Yamaguchi’s address, but during the conversation gave the man enough information about Yamaguchi’s routine that he could estimate what time she would usually arrive home, wherever her home may be.

The statement does not say whether the other idol purposefully leaked the information or was simply careless with her words during what she thought was harmless chitchat. The statement also does not mention whether the man who obtained the information was one of the two that attacked Yamaguchi as she entered her home on the night of Dec 8. The management does say, however, that in addition to the two men who carried out the attack they have confirmed that a third man was involved in its planning or execution, and that all three have been permanently banned from any and all NGT48 events and appearances, including handshake events where the idols shake hands with fans.

NGT48’s management says that it will be instituting security patrols of its idols’ homes, as well as providing its performers with pocket-sized crime alert sirens (a not uncommon personal safety for women and children in Japan). “Maho Yamaguchi having to break the news about the attack herself was the result of our insufficient communication with her and NGT48’s fans,” the management said, while pledging to take steps to ensure such an attack never takes place again, build trust between the group’s members, and provide proper psychological support and care not just to Yamaguchi, but to all of the performers.

The statement of contrition may seem at odds with Yamaguchi herself apologizing in front of fans, but in Japan, it’s often the case that individuals start off by “apologizing for causing a commotion,” regardless of whether they were in the wrong or not. Thankfully, those in attendance during Yamaguchi’s apology don’t seem to feel she’s to blame for anything, as the reaction from the crowd was silence (born of either confusion at why she was apologizing or respect for her determination) punctuated by shouts of “It’s OK!” and “You didn’t do anything wrong!”

Sources: Sponichi Annex via Jin, NGT48 official website

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- AKB48 founder plans Japan48 idol group for Olympics, Philippines spinoff

-- Justin Bieber kisses two of Japan’s most popular idols, breaks the hearts and minds of their fans

-- Japanese idol singer reveals that she’s pregnant with her manager’s baby

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
Login to comment

She shouldn't have to apologize for anything! It the fault of NGT48 management for not providing enough protection, plus the two scumbags for assaulting her!

If this happened in North America, thoes two would be charged with assault and tresspassing, even if they claimed to have no violent intentions!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Sadly I am not surprised by this. I can only imagine the conversation that went on with her and the management, something along the lines that they have to keep the illusion alive that these girls are 'available' in the fanboys eyes and any action against these attackers would kill that illusion. Most groups like this even have no dating policies for members. At least the management is not providing security for the girls and giving them panic buttons, but in reality, these jerks should have been charged with a crime. I am glad she is 'safe'.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Justice in this country is a joke!

And she shouldn't have to apologise for anything! Her managers should be on stage doing that to her!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Oops. I noticed my typo above. Darned autocorrect. Should read: "At least the management is NOW providing security for the girls..."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The men, both 25-year-old university students, grabbed her face and otherwise jostled her while attempting to force their way inside the entryway to her home. “We wanted to talk with Ms Yamaguchi, and we didn’t think it would be such a big deal.”

25 year old university students, are they studying to be doctors? The Japanese male mentality disrespect for rights of others inability to distinguish right from wrong is disgusting, education must begin from childhood, age 25 is too late.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

we didn’t think it would be such a big deal.”

The two men were subsequently released without charges being pressed

There is something very wrong with this. The stalled this young woman and attacked her at her home, but didn’t think there was anything wrong with it? Then, they were not charged with anything and set free? It doesn’t do much for the protection of these ‘idols’. It also doesn’t send any kind of message to these delusional fans that it’s not ok to stalk and attack women. There have been quite a few attacks made on these idols in recent years.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The treatment of women in this country is completely disgusting. If this happened in any other country, most commenters on here would be calling for fire and brimstone. Japan for known reasons always gets a slight moan then a pass. Utterly disgusting.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It must have been very frightening exeperience for Maho-chan. As having been mentioned by everyone, she doesn't need to apologize because she didn't do anything wrong. I can't believe that two men who had assaulted her were not charged with battery. They are totally lacking respect for Maho-chan. And this management has problem for sure. I hope she fully recover from trauma soon.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

macv ... dead on!

The choice of the words '25 year old university students' instead of '25 year old men' is a deliberate, editorial hedge ... with the not so subtle implication that it is not such a big deal. After all, they are just 'students', and because they are Japanese students, they should be forgiven.

I dare say that if the two were foreign students, it would be written as* '25 year old American (Vietnamese, Chinese, etc.) men' ... and maybe later in the article, if pointed out at all, would be the fact that the men were enrolled as 'students'* in a particular institution ... and if that institution were prestigious enough, the Dean would immediately go into damage control and offer a public apology.

Come to think of it, notice that the name of the students' institution was conveniently omitted from the article?

Good ol' neo-liberal Japan Inc., busy at work, make sure to protect institutional rights of privacy.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The police were summoned before they could gain full entry

This story could have ended very differently then, and I wonder how the management would have responded.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I cannot imagine the level of fear and foreboding that must have been running through Maho Yamaguchi mind.

Then to have to publicly apologise for the violent assault and watch the assailants go free.

Justice could have been rightly served with a blow torch and a pair of pliers. Examples need to be made. This is intolerable.

This whole idol industry is perverse and rotten to the core.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

She should have pressed charges.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This idol industry is full pf abuse. Most idols gets less than min wage and pretty much gets a slave contract with heavy penalties baked in. Most would end up with no life skills to continue living after they get mercilessly dumped by their agency, perhaps with a huge debt if they break one of the hundreds of rules written in contract. No women should join the Japanese idol industry.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There's a parody of her apology on the Rising Wasabi but it really is almost beyond parody anyway.

The whole thing of apologising for causing trouble is something I hate. It is a poisonous trait of Japanese culture that shifts blame and responsibility to those who do not bare any responsibility.

It is the same trait that stops people taking their holiday for fear of causing trouble for co-workers, while the owners benefit from all the unpaid work of their employees.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is a very Japanese thing and one of the evil traditions here in Japan. You are to be blamed and demanded to apologize for causing fuss and disturbing harmony, regardless of whether or not what you do is right.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

For those complaining about her contract (or those in other idol groups) - nobody forced her to sign the contract. If you don't read a contract before signing it, you can't sit back and complain about the terms and conditions included within after the fact. If she or any idols-in-waiting have problems with the contract, they should question each line item with the management before signing it, and if it's not amended to your satisfaction, do not sign it.

As for the two "boys", the idol singer did not press charges, so what do you expect? Maybe if she used her brain a bit more to not care about losing two fans, but rather think of it is if not her, it could have been a fellow idol member - and press full charges.

Obviously these management companies may be good at putting together catchy songs, getting their clients out in the spotlight, etc - but they are pathetically inept at live event security, caring for the overall welfare of their clients.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

And how is this news? @ Shenjingbin - You’re right. No one forced them to sign. Their choice in life.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

WTF - the Woman was assaulted , and then she apologizes to her assailants ... ??? Am I reading this correctly ???

Some men accost a woman in an attempt to gain access to her apartment then were surprisingly arrested during this event ? (wow... policeman just popped out, just like that ?)... missing some information here.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Remind me Zard when I listen to her songs. Her voice is similar to Zard.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Went to the mall in Odawara City a while back and they had some idol girl on a stage performing. Seeing a large crowd of middle aged men chanting and drooling over some real young girl was by far one of the creepiest things I've seen in Japan. I had my two daughters with me at the time and told them to look at how ridiculous this whole industry is. I'd rather have them achieve something meaningful and beneficial in life than to be gawked at and seen as eye candy by a bunch of perverts.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The downside of being cute in Japan....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

mph-1212Today 09:17 am JSTWent to the mall in Odawara City a while back and they had some idol girl on a stage performing. Seeing a large crowd of middle aged men chanting and drooling over some real young girl was by far one of the creepiest things I've seen in Japan. I had my two daughters with me at the time and told them to look at how ridiculous this whole industry is. I'd rather have them achieve something meaningful and beneficial in life than to be gawked at and seen as eye candy by a bunch of perverts.

They do this in America with 'talent/beauty' pageants, especially in rural communities. It's SICK. And the whole pop music industry is geared that way here too. Good music is almost completely underground here.

And this 'idol girl' did nothing wrong and shouldn't apologize for anything! those 25 y/o juveniles were acting aggressive with her. 'Just talk with her'? Yeah, right!

I agree - music is about the MUSIC. If you ain't got the musicality, then cute looks ain't enough. I saw (and met) the Japanese lady punk rock trio Shonen Knife for the 3rd time last fall, and for all the sexual appeal, 'cutesy-wutsey' atmosphere, funky sci-fy stage costume designs and simple happy charm about them - not once have I ever seen anyone gawk at them nor have I ever heard any childish boorish sexual remarks or juvenile innuendo about their looks, figures or any other aspects of them being females. It's always has been respect as a fun delightful punk rock'n'roll band. I've never seen a fan of any age do or say anything stupid about or around them after the show either. Some Japanese fans converse in their language with them and do the 'head bow' greeting - it's all Solid Rock'n'roll and that's the way it should be. Those ladies ROCK, they rock hard and rock it good (and play their instruments too). That's what it's all about.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The people, sorry two morons that broke into to her house should be apologising on stage, they should be telling fans that they have made a grave mistake and set an example to others, not to pester any one in there homes, then they should apologise to her publicly, and then they should start paying a hefty fine to the courts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

WTF - the Woman was assaulted , and then she apologizes to her assailants ... ??? Am I reading this correctly ???

Welcome to Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It is a proven fact that it has become occupationally hazardous and will continue to be so becoming an entertainer in the Japanese Idol Industry.

How much more proof does one need, Maho Yamaguchi, is not even safe in her own home.

There are allegations that the attack on Maho Yamaguchi was orchestrated because one or more team members leaking personal information.

It is time the industry was held fully accountable for a duty of care to all members and the authorities took the appropriate action to lock up these deviants and throw away the key.

What has contract law got do with it? Maho Yamaguchi did not sign up to be violently assaulted.

Deal with the degenerate weirdos once an for all. .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@hooktrunk2

At least the management is not providing security for the girls and giving them panic buttons,

Management provides nothing. Heck, AKB idols are required to do their own makeups before going onto stage, no makeup artists provided.

@macv

25 year old university students, are they studying to be doctors? 

Not everyone graduates college in four years. Where I studied at, the program was structured so that it was impossible to graduate in four years unless one was willing to go to summer schools, and most people opted for Math Minor or double Math Major, which added one to two semesters. One F meant you just earned one more semester and often 70% of class got Fs. I was one of 70% who got an F.

@Lindsay

Then, they were not charged with anything and set free?

That would generate a publicity and the Japanese tabloids go wild, which is exactly what the Japanese idol management doesn't want to see happen.

@blahblah222

This idol industry is full pf abuse. Most idols gets less than min wage and pretty much gets a slave contract with heavy penalties baked in.

The good news is that JYP is launching an all Japanese version of TWICE later this year. Hopely this will serve as the light of hope for Japanese idol hopefuls.

Previously, Japanese idol hopefuls not wishing to go through AKB system of abuses had to fly to Korea, be trained for 7 years, then spend most of the time traveling around the world far away from Japan.

The all Japanese unit of TWICE will spend most of its time in Japan so that they don't have to miss home.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why did she need to apologize? This is kind of backwards.

1 ( +1 / -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