entertainment

Idol singer ordered to pay management company Y650,000 after going to hotel with male fan

104 Comments
By Casey Baseel, RocketNews24

Idol singers exist in an extremely specialized, and often contradictory, corner of the already specialized Japanese pop music industry. Successful idols are expected to walk the fine line between having a polished, attractive appearance and an approachable, unassuming aura. Even more ironic is that while their songs’ lyrics are often focused on love and devotion, it’s practically unheard of for an active idol to openly be in a romantic relationship.

Every now and again, though, word gets out that an idol secretly has a boyfriend, or had an illicit liaison with a guy. The revelation is usually followed by a solemn apology to fans, and often the offending member being removed from the group. But this time the story of an idol’s amorous activities coming to light has something we’ve never heard about before: a court-ordered fine equivalent to several thousand dollars for breach of contract.

On September 18, Tokyo District Court Judge Akimoto Kojima handed down his verdict in a case involving a 17-year-old former idol singer, whose name has been withheld from public reports. The lawsuit stemmed from incidents that occurred two years ago.

In March of 2013, the girl signed a contract with a talent management company, becoming a member of a six-person idol unit (also unnamed in reports). After its formation, the management company organized concerts and sold merchandise. The unit’s first public performance being held in July, but it was disbanded in October.

In response, the company filed a lawsuit seeking damages for breach of contract. The defendant, however, argued that “Refraining from such relationships is not an absolutely essential part of being an idol.” However, Judge Kojima ruled that: “In order to secure the financial support of male fans, a clause prohibiting relationships was necessary.”

Indicating his judicial opinion that the defendant’s “Being discovered to be in a relationship worsened her image as an idol,” and that she should bear a portion of the responsibility for the group’s breakup, he ordered her to pay damages of 650,000 yen to partially compensate the management company for expenses it incurred in providing her with costumes and music/dance lessons.

Trying to legally suppress teen hormones might seem like a laughable exercise in futility. It’s quite likely, though, that openly being in a relationship does indeed hamper the marketability of idol singers in Japan, particularly among the coveted and lucrative hard-core idol otaku demographic buys multiple copies of physical media releases and official merchandise. While statistics may say it’s extremely unlikely that any given fan will ever go on a date with his adored vocalist (barring certain unusual sales promotions), the idea that she’s single lets him go on believing that his chances are just a hair above zero percent, which is extremely valuable from a marketing standpoint.

The romantic delusion angle isn’t the only psychological force at work, either. Japan takes its professional life very seriously, and being a newcomer to your industry (which almost all idols are, by virtue of debuting in their teens) means you’re expected to dedicate yourself to learning the ropes and perfecting your craft. Having an active social life outside the work unit is often frowned upon, and even in many regular white-collar jobs new recruits will refrain from making any mention in the office of their romantic partner, lest their coworkers think they’re not making work their first priority.

Another factor at play is the intense value Japan places on teamwork. Idol acts are often made up of a number of vocalists, which, along with a focus on visual image more than the group’s sound is a time-tested way of compensating for deficiencies in musical talent. Any time spent making googly eyes with your boyfriend is time you’re not spending to work towards the common goal you share with your fellow idols, and a lack of perceived earnestness makes it that much more difficult to sell CDs and posters to the historically most dedicated idol-loving demographic.

As such, one can sort of understand the management company’s desire to defend its business interests, and that it would be worried about how its performer being in a relationship would affect them. On the other hand, the fact that no one in the lawsuit seemed bothered by the fact that the girl was 15-years-old at the time she was invited by the fan to join him at a hotel is worrisome in a completely different way.

Sources: Anime News Network, Nikkan Sports

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- How to date an idol: A guide to the highly improbable -- Pop idols’ management demands 8 million yen in damages after two members caught dating fans -- In a shocking twist, some idol singers really will go out with you if you buy their albums

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

104 Comments
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Where does one even start with this?!

Should I comment on the fact that a 15 year old was invited to a hotel by a fan?

Or should I comment on the idea of a contract involving a "no relationship cause?

Or should I comment on the idiocy of the judge who passed judgment on this girl?

This story is just so wrong on so many levels.

50 ( +53 / -4 )

WTF is any 15-year-old doing meeting guys in a hotel? If they engaged in "amorous activities", that would be statutory rape wouldn't it?

15 ( +19 / -4 )

What is this, the 1940s 1950's? What about the men taking a 15 year old to a hotel roo? Shouldn't they be named , shamed and at least looked at by the police?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Just stupid, grow up Japan.....

13 ( +16 / -3 )

However, Judge Kojima ruled that: “In order to secure the financial support of male fans, a clause prohibiting relationships was necessary.”

Ridiculous. These perverts who make money sexualising children are now able to sue the children for ruining their perverted customer's fantasies. Japan should be ashamed of this.

The one silver lining is that the court has basically admitted that 'idols' are simply about selling sexual fantasies, so it's time for some people to stop pretending that they are singers or role models, the law now disagrees.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Sounds like the judge is a fan himself...

20 ( +21 / -1 )

After reports surfaced that the one member, who would have been 15 at the time, went to a hotel with two male fans, the group was disbanded in October 2013.

According to Yahoo news. So it wasn't just one guy, it was two guys. a fact conveniently overlooked in this story.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Child exploitation by industry, fans and state. Obscene.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

So these fans are so obsessed that if they find out that their idol is sleeping with someone else, they loose interest. No wonder most of these guys are the hikikomori type probably. And just going out on a limb, I imagine that these so called fans that the companies are worrying about probably go to their nearest "cell phone club" or other establishment to meet young girls.

I don't get where a company thinks that if you have a life outside of work, your image for the viewers is shattered and you are no longer a money maker. I think both the companies, and the judge in this case really need to examine themselves, and not to mention the guys who went to a room with a 15 year old girl.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The management company claimed damages of $42,375 (¥5.1 million) from the girl and her parents to compensate for the money it had spent on the group. Her parents would have had to sign the contract because she is a minor.

Also from Yahoo news

6 ( +6 / -0 )

According to Yahoo news. So it wasn't just one guy, it was two guys. a fact conveniently overlooked in this story

Yes, can you look on Yahoo News if the man was an adult because everyone here automatically assumes it was an old man. Also what is the evidence of this happening? His or her public admittance or does the company take daily semen samples?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I searched Japanese sources for the court case and even a news story and found nothing. Me thinks this is made up in the mind of Casey Bseel and Rocket News.

http://www.nikkansports.com/entertainment/news/1540235.html

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Having an active social life outside the work unit is often frowned upon, and even in many regular white-collar jobs new recruits will refrain from making any mention in the office of their romantic partner, lest their coworkers think they’re not making work their first priority.

This is the thing I disliked most about navigating the Japanese work culture. The organization/team/group is everything, and nothing else matters. It goes well beyond refraining from making mention of romantic partners to speaking very little of your existence outside the office, even extending to your children and how you spent your holiday. The emphasis put on one's group at the expense of family/romantic interests is clearly a significant factor in Japan's low birth rate.

I have had so many experiences where a coworker or person otherwise associated with my job would confide in me about the fabulous time they had on their recent holiday to another country, only to ask me not to tell anyone else in the office. Where I am from coworkers tend to be excited for you when you take your dream holiday and want to hear all about it, but in Japan nothing but envy and scorn.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

I hope the man or men involved were arrested for statutory rape.

But what are the chances they were let free, in exchange for their silence?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

One must be real proud of one’s “job”, following unsuspecting folks around and then ratting them out for a few yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, according to the judge, idol singers are expected to be prostitutes of a sort (instead of being sexually available to all their fans and selling the illusion of exclusivity to each one, they're supposed to have sex with no one while selling the illusion of being sexually available to all). Or another way to look at it is he sees them as falling into the porn star category (who are also expected to hide any personal relationships to preserve their fans fantasies) who just happen to have to keep their clothes on by law.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@ Sensato: I know exactly what you mean. An in-law of mine didn't want us to mention to other family members that they were going to Hawaii over a holiday period, thinking that it would get back to the company and the boss. When I told them that the employees that worked for me had vacation time that they could use outside of the normal "Japanese holidays" and I let them go, I only told them to have a good time and don't worry about trying to find me a souvenir or any gift, it's their vacation time, they have earned it, who am I to say where and when they can use it.

I guess as some have posted, in this case it's all about the image. Though I think it is too the extreme here in Japan in this case, but it does happen in the USA too. The rapper Nelly had to play down the fact when he first came along that he was a married man in a committed relationship, simply to sell records. But this case is too extreme. It seems that in some cases in the USA, the more "loose" and wild one is, the more publicity one gets. I doubt if any of the males who are enthralled with the Kardasians are really concerned that they have men in their lives, but will follow and stalk all the day long.

To me, this case just seems to reek of the old "paternalism" system where no one can touch the goodies but we the selected few (talent agents, and probably dirty old men like the judge who pays top dollar for exclusive rights to do so).

10 ( +10 / -0 )

a clause prohibiting relationships was necessary

Whether it was necessary or not is by the by, surely? If it was in the contract, and she and her parents signed it, they're obliged to stick by it and are liable for damages if they violate their contract. Maybe the stars in their eyes prevented them from reading the small print.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

young girl so hoony.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

If Japan is serious about the welfare of its children and youth, the nation's citizens, politicians and judicial system need to crack down on "talento jimusho" (like Sprial Music in this case) that blatantly prey on young people by feeding into dreams of narcissistic parents seeking vicarious fame and fortune.

The foreign media provides much more concrete information than the Japanese press about this particular story: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/japanese-girl-bandmember-damages-going-825659

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Having an active social life outside the work unit is often frowned upon

This is what is wrong with japan & people who "frown upon" an active social life.

This story is just so wrong on so many levels

Society here is just so wrong on so many levels. The idol management probably dolled the group up real cute, sexy, "kawaii" in order for them to sell. Worse, the courts mention nothing inappropriate about a 15 year old girl goint into a hotel and having sex with "a fan". Prob twice her age too- truly disturbing.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

OMG!! I just can't get my mind around this...young ladies having sexual relations with young men. What's the world coming to?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Sidestepping the allegation of underage sex, the greatest revelation from this story is that they have music lessons.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

You cannot control the teenage hormone. It's like trying to hold back the tide...

Remember when Britney Spears' 15 year old sister was impregnated by her 18 year old live-in boyfriend? Yup, no charges filed at all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Another example of Japan's unhealthy attitude towards sex, and relationships in general. Don't even know why this is news.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Here they are:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=7&v=NFLZkgRRG-U

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I don't much care about the pop idol scene and don't have much sympathy for someone (no matter how young) who breaks a contract and then has to pay a fine. But this:

However, Judge Kojima ruled that: “In order to secure the financial support of male fans, a clause prohibiting relationships was necessary.”

...that's pretty chilling, at least if the story isn't completely made up bollocks. When you know your business model is all about exploiting male fans' desire for a relationship, and when that desire hinges entirely on the woman in question being virginal, that's pretty screwed up.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Got to love Japan!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You can even listen to her wise words:

http://us.twitcasting.tv/haruka_miki/movie/17212337

0 ( +0 / -0 )

zones2surf:

So true! It's as if these rules were made on another planet!

joeintokyo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=7&v=NFLZkgRRG-U

Oh gosh, the typical amateur night at the local junior high school.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I dont mind. Idol want to relieve the stress. Im oldman, i love company of idols.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Contracts which stipulate things like "no relationships" should be thrown out as they violate constitutionally guaranteed rights. It should not be possible to sign away your rights, but the daft Japanese courts clearly think otherwise. Suppose someone agreed to sell themselves into a life of slavery and signed a contract to that effect. The half-witted judge in this case would presumably see no problem with that.

And does the fact that an "idol" is seeing someone really lessen the chances of these shut-ins having a relationship with her? The chance is roughly zero, whether she is seeing someone or not. Even if she is seeing someone the shut-ins still have a small chance to woo her away by sweeping her off her feet with their detailed knowledge of sundry computer games and comics.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

These management companies should be disbanded and the senior managers ordered to pay fines and banned from participating in the "entertainment" industry for a period of time. The judge should be impeached for professional ineptitude. More music lessons for the "idols" in question.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Go RocketNews. Scooped them all!! this judge is just reflecting what a large slice of oyaji society think of the workplace and male/female relationships and all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Cleo

If it was in the contract, and she and her parents signed it, they're obliged to stick by it and are liable for damages if they violate their contract. Maybe the stars in their eyes prevented them from reading the small print.

But not every breach of a contractual term entitles someone to claim damages. The way these things work is that the court will decide what the essential subject matter of the contract was and then decide whether any breach went to the heart of the contract.

In my opinion, the substance of this contract can only be for singing and dancing. It's only if you decide that the substance of this contract is for a 15 year old girl to sell sexual fantasies can you say that having a relationship can amount to a material breach. Seeing as sexual activity a 15 year old girl is illegal in Japan (with few exceptions), I don't see how it was even open to the judge to decide the way he did. In many other countries this type of contract (or at least their argument) would likely be void and unenforceable on public policy grounds.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@cleo "Whether it was necessary or not is by the by, surely? If it was in the contract, and she and her parents signed it, they're obliged to stick by it and are liable for damages if they violate their contract. "

Totally agree with Cleo. And to me such a clause is not much different from those that prohibit a celebrity who has signed up to be the "face" of or promote a certain product from being seen in public using a rival product.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

This is SICK on so many levels! Child abuse all round & when it get to court the JUDGE then ABUSES this girl

SICK SICK JUST SICK!

This single article if its real clearly illustrates a LOT of problems in this country & rather than tackle them a young girl gets ordered to pay some sleezy pedo "music" company!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The assumptions about age and the outrage presented I am chalking up to the titillation factor combined with self-loathing. The ages of the "men" were not mentioned. Nor were any of the activities in the hotel room mentioned, but boy, some people sure get their jollies imagining, then spew cognitive dissonance about it back at us like its going out of style.

Obviously the greater issue here is the stark violation of human rights in attempting to deny an employee their natural right to natural human relationships on their own private time. You cannot sign away your human rights.

And I would think if the girl herself had one single complaint she would be crying rape and thus, avoid the fine and keep her contract. But she is not doing that is she?

Well, its Rocket News anyway. I am treating this story like its invented until I hear some names.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Are the same "morals clauses" applied to the contracts signed members of boy bands?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think it is total BS, contract or not. What about the fact that these idiots are hiring 14 and 15 year olds to attract men because they're cute and sexy. They are as bad as the people that invited this girl to their hotel room. What a business. They're pimps, nothing more.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

What about the fact that these idiots are hiring 14 and 15 year olds to attract men because they're cute and sexy.

@danalawton1@yahoo.com If that was idiotic they would not be making any money. They found a market, but, in fact, I am inclined to believe that most fans are in fact teen girls and boys. I think most of this talk about old men is rather contrived. But people "want to believe". Its all rather Senator Craigish, you know, the homophobe that got caught trying to hook up some homosexual relations in the airport lavatory? Yeah. Those screaming the loudest you should view with deep suspicion. Just don't rule out their own denial about their real motivations.

They are as bad as the people that invited this girl to their hotel room. What a business. They're pimps, nothing more.

That is quite a load. I bet there were more Hannah Montana fans out there than is commonly known and you know what I am talking about. Japan is more open about certain things. North America just hides the truth like dirty laundry.

I don't see the big deal though. I don't see how getting knickers in twist helped anything or anyone.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

OMG!! I just can't get my mind around this...young ladies having sexual relations with young men. What's the world coming to?

I don't think that people are reacting to this story in regards to teenage sex. Not everyone needs to clutch their pearls and lay on the fainting couch with teenage sex, unless you have a teenage daughter. The real issue is that given the tendency of these groups to try to maintain an image, the two fans were not 15 year old boys at the time, I can place a petty fair bet on that. This idol image, and the provisions put forth in their contracts are trying to appeal to a group of spenders who probably have not matured enough even though they are legally adults. That type of stunted growth takes a long time to develop, so much so that boys these girls ages would not have the "guts" to be bold enough to rent a hotel room, or to even try to be alone with another 15 yr. old girl for sex.

This is about emotionally stunted men, who were probably twice their ages or more who managed to get a young girl to go to a hotel with them. I am sure that she was in on it too, probably being told by the same company to do this "for the team" all the while giving them a chance to break a contract without any loss on their part. Just another example of the peonage system that thrives in Japan, harking back to the feudal days.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just another example of the peonage system that thrives in Japan, harking back to the feudal days.

Many companies in sex related industry are not run by the Japanese.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Since the girl was/is a minor, I can understand why she is not being named, but surely some enterprising reportage could reveal the name of the management company, rather than JapanToday just copying this from other media and legal reports. Perhaps we could also have a story on what mechanisms exist for removing incompetent judges from the bench?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So the management company took a 15 year old girl, turned her into a sex symbol for middle aged men and then, after two of those men statutorily raped her, went on to sue her for breach of contract to take back whatever measly amount of money she might have had left before spitting her out.

Then not only the court, but also the author of this article, decide to become cheerleaders for this management company.

Seriously, this is despicable.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

The parents of the 15 year old girl can suit the man who took the minor to a hotel, but it is a different case from this one.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Poop poor Journalism from Casey Baseel, inadequate research, punctuated with regurgitated source material.

First and foremost the management company failed in a statutory duty of care to a minor, secondly in his summing up Tokyo District Court Judge Akimoto Kojima highlights a breathtaking disregarded for the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the government of Japan is a signatory and has supposedly ratified the conventions.

Judge Akimoto Kojima 'holier than thou' arrogance and a lack of guidelines for the judiciary has placed children directly at risk, his handing down has particularly failed the parents allowing commercial gain to collide with the social care of a 15 year old adolescent.

Essentially allowing judicial approval of a minor to be pimped to two pedophiles in a hotel room ,fragrantly undermining the social care service whose efforts to protect children have been ridden over rough shod.

Let be clear on the legal ........Children’s Rights: Japan.....The Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment..... A parent or a guardian cannot make a labor contract for a minor, in this case a person under twenty years old.[47] This provision aims to prohibit a parent or guardian from forcing a minor to work for a parent or guardian’s economic benefit. The parent or guardian cannot receive the wages earned by the minor in place of the minor.[48] ......

Children thirteen years old or older, however, may be employed if the labor is light and not injurious to their health and welfare, and if the employer obtains permission from the local Labor Standards Administration office.[43] Children under thirteen years old can be employed only in motion picture production and theatrical performance enterprises, upon permission of the Labor Standards Administration office.[44] An employer cannot employ a person under eighteen years old for extended-hour or night-time work.[45] ......

And I have not even broached the overriding principals enshrined in Article 90 of the Civil Standards Code that violates fundamental human rights, asking an 'employee' to “entertain” a client.

http://www.loc.gov/law/help/child-rights/japan.php#_ftnref8

0 ( +3 / -3 )

asking an 'employee' to “entertain” a client.

@itsonlyrocknroll Your mind must in quite a tizzy to make something like that up and report it as fact. The things you imagine happened has really got your blood pumping, hasn't it?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It takes a few minutes to google the Age of Consent in Japan, the reason the judge didn't mention her age is that the age of consent in Japan is 13 years old for sex. Unbelievable. But then again didn't Japan only put in Child Protection laws in the early 2000's?

I agree with someone else that posted above, it's keeping natural human rights away from these "idols". Humans want and need companionship, these management companies are "legally" keeping those rights from their clients and raking in the money while they do it.

But nothing will change, the Jumusho's will continue to thrive and the kids will be the ones who suffer. Most of these kids only make money if they get ads/commercials or TV/movie deals on the side. They usually just get paid small fees for the singing and dancing, only make any real money if they get the side jobs outside the management companies.

bec

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I applaud Japan Today for its very unbiased reporting of this incident. I think both sides of the argument here were well represented. Now I would like to weigh in as well: First, nothing was stated as fact about the age of the "men" or what happened in the hotel room with them. I'm not that naive to assume they just went there to drink tea and talk about videogames, but still, it's important to state this because we don't know all the actual facts of what really happened. So people need to calm down about this topic just a bit. Second, when you sign a contract, you are obliged to uphold that contract. And believe it or not, there are MANY instances of contracts signed all over the world that make people refrain from having relationships. Ever hear the one about not being allowed to date co-workers? You don't even sign a contract for that at most professional American jobs, you're just told that at your interview. This girl became an idol, and part of being an idol is to keep your relationships private, or better yet, to not have one at all. And this is all done for the sake of fantasy. It's no different than when a stripper gets up on a pole and dances around without any clothing or gives you a lap dance, and you then become her fan and request her and pay her tons of money. I'm talking about 17 year old girls who just turned 18 and strip too... only in this case, we have people comparing this 15 year old girl to what a stripper does, in that people are suggesting the fantasy they are selling has anything to do with being sexual. It doesn't, except maybe for the otaku nutjobs who are into the whole underage girl thing. But those people aren't the majority, and that IS a fact. Go to ANY idol concerts out there, and you'll see a HUGE range of people that love idols, all from women to kids and yes... MEN, as well as their main demographic, teenage boys. But have any of you ever seen an IDOL show for real? Girls are dressed up so much and barely showing any skin half the time and acting all Kawaii that there isn't anything sexual about it (though I'll admit, there are certainly exceptions to this). I don't think the judge was wrong, necessarily, but I do think that the very simple fact is the girl had her parents sign a contract for her and she agreed to abide by the contract... when you violate any clause of that contract, which is legally accepted in Japan, then you should be punished. This isn't America, or the West, and I think people need to realize that in Japan, things are done according to THEIR beliefs and ideals, not Western beliefs and ideals. Next thing you know, all of you will have an issue that Japanese people love to eat cats, some dogs, horses, and... wait for it... DOLPHINS. Yummy!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Candice Quist-Potter: I think what's wrong here is that you are assuming way too much about what happened. For all we know, the "man" could've been 15 years old. I think we simply don't know the facts about how old the guy was in question. Not saying it's right or wrong either way, but I think it's more wrong, at this point at least, to assume so much about something you don't know all the facts about, and then make a sweeping negative statement about an entire nation as a result.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One word: APPEAL

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hi Peace Out, You have addressed me directly and thank you for reading my post, if JT will allow me, article 90....

Overview contract terms that reflect fundamental human rights, such as gender bias, restrict individual freedom, violate social morals, asking an employee to entertain a client, this is the generic terminology. Not a 'blood pumping' fallacy it is a fact.

Article 90 ....... Osaka University Law Review

http://ir.library.osaka-u.ac.jp/dspace/bitstream/11094/8447/1/oulr006-015.pdf

So Peace Out...... Each sentence and paragraph has been translated into English, instead of addressing me personally I would like you to address the topic directly. I won't pretend it is a walk in the park. I would like your honest opinion referring you back to the thread .....

Idol singer ordered to pay management company Y650,000 after going to hotel with male fan

And a link in my previous post...

http://www.loc.gov/law/help/child-rights/japan.php#_ftnref8

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"the fact that no one in the lawsuit seemed bothered by the fact that the girl was 15-years-old at the time she was invited by the fan to join him at a hotel is worrisome in a completely different way"

Bingo!! :-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I am treating this story like its invented until I hear some names.

It corssed my mind too... to scare the idols in other groups and prevent them to future relationships.

But this case is so sick in so many levels.

The idol industry who preys on middle age men and solitary young men (hikkikomori?) into selling a sexualised image of a virginal girl in her teens. An industry that says they train their people, but compensate the lack of talent in singing, dancing or acting with image. Parents only interested in having an "idol" in their family that they don't doubt to sell their children. If there is a clause of "no relationships", DON'T SIGN the contract! (what ambition does to parents and some children) If the fans that invited this "idol" to a hotel, a) they must be rich and b) they must be of age at least. No sexual intercourse was proven to have had happened, but if there was, in ANY case it is statutory rape, even with the consent of the girl. But Japan justice overlooks that (that's so sick). And if there is no sexual contact, it was still abuse from the older guys.
2 ( +2 / -0 )

DokiDoki....allegedly .....

dokidoki Live ~アイドル甲子園 × 赤坂BLITZ~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFLZkgRRG-U

http://spiralmusic.jp/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well, the judge probably made the legally correct call.

I repeat some other sentiments as per not allow subjective emotions to get us to imagine things. I'll also add that had the whole hotel thing (with or without sex) been involuntary, the company is both rather cruel and stupid to press a lawsuit. If the whole involuntary sex thing came out in court it could have ended very badly on them. Even if it doesn't get the point where they get counter-charged, it can easily lead to their loss.

So I find it more likely the sex is voluntary, and in fact did not involve money. She may just have set her eyes on a fan.

Second, it is undeniable that the market value of an idol is at least partially dependent on image. I may also point out that their band has just started out, so it is unlikely any member of the band had any great skills in dancing or singing even if we assume they might eventually acquire them. Such an idol's only difference with the girl on the street is a bit better looks than average, a modicum of crash training and a carefully tailored image by professionals according to well-established scientific principles of attracting the Japanese male.

So, the company does suffer an objective, tangible loss when she breaks her contract in the mentioned fashion.

As for the idea of nullifying the contract by contradicting it with other laws. Quite frankly, it is difficult to call a no relationship clause for a 15 year old a violation of public order or good morals ("public policy"). In fact, many people especially in Japan where the average age of all these things are later than in America, would argue 15 year olds are a bit young to be having relationships, and that it'll be good morals for them to with-hold until at least the end of high school. Thus, it is impossible to void it by citing Article 90 of the Civil Code, nor is it possible to call it Unconstitutional by citing Article 13.

The girl had taken a decision that her pursuit of happiness (Article 13 guaranteed right) is best achieved by becoming an idol. Japanese law allows her to do so, despite the screams of many Westerners as can be seen here. But you can't just cut your commitments like that, mere months after you started.

It is possible, had the girl been playing for a bit, the court may decide that even if it was a breach of contract, the girl had more than paid her dues so the company cannot really say they've been losing money, and further as the time of restriction goes on Article 13 does become stronger. However, since the girl is 15 and has just started, such factors do not really apply, and the judge issued the only possible Decision.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And I would think if the girl herself had one single complaint she would be crying rape and thus, avoid the fine and keep her contract. But she is not doing that is she?

Well, its Rocket News anyway. I am treating this story like its invented until I hear some names

I won't translate as it could be construed as contempt of court, so Pease Out you are going to have to phone a Spanish friend, or resort to the google translate sausage machine, there is a name there whose honor you can callously trample over.

Well the poor girl is not a 'refugee'.

I am sorry to call you out but you reek of double standards....

http://www.yumeki.org/juez-ordena-a-ex-idol-compensacion-a-agencia/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

However, Judge Kojima ruled that: “In order to secure the financial support of male fans, a clause prohibiting relationships was necessary.”

What a load of rubbish... you think guys going to concerts by the likes of, I dunno, Kylie or Ellie Goulding care whether they've got boyfriends or not? When I was a lot younger I didn't care if Debbie Harry had a boyfriend or not... I still idolised her... posters on the wall, album covers framed, etc...

This weird rule is tantamount to servitude. What next, chastity belts?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry that is 'Peace Out' no rudeness intended.....

Kazuaki Shimazaki would you be so frivolous or dismissive of the young girl in question was your niece, daughter or sister, I think that is a fair question to ask? and respectfully...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It may not have been the first time for the girl to go to hotel with her fan, and it may be the girl who invited them to hotel. It would be difficult for the management company to continue business with such a girl.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Hi Tina the girl was fifteen, whether she had her head on the right way up and without due knowledge of the age of the men in question, it stands to reason these men should behave responsibly.

My parents were strict and made sure I behaved in a manner accordingly. I have to say that cousins may drool over boys but it part and parcel of adolescences. I have accompanied young family members to 9nine and Dream5 events and some of the men there are middle-aged sweaty and urgent, I don't understand or comprehend the motivation behind this which made me feel uncomfortable.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki would you be so frivolous or dismissive of the young girl in question was your niece, daughter or sister, I think that is a fair question to ask? and respectfully...

If that young girl was my niece or something, I'll hope to know a little more about the situation. However, if the known elements are the same, my only reason for objecting would be if they start asking me for money to foot this bill.

I think my niece has to learn things like "In society, a deal is a deal" and all the more so if you broke it within months of starting. It is just as well all this happened while she still had parents to foot the bill and the amount of 650,000 yen, while hefty is probably survivable for the family involved.

@Thunderbird2SEP. 22, 2015 - 11:02PM JST

What a load of rubbish... you think guys going to concerts by the likes of, I dunno, Kylie or Ellie Goulding care whether they've got boyfriends or not? When I was a lot younger I didn't care if Debbie Harry had a boyfriend or not... I still idolised her... posters on the wall, album covers framed, etc...

Siince I don't know who Kylie, Ellie and Debbie are, I can't make specific comments. However, I am aware that some singers really do make it on their singing skills. When the girls grow up, they may eventually graduate into this bracket of what in Hong Kong will be called 實力派-singers (ability-based).

However, right now, it is virtually certain they are not close to this level. Right now, they are idols and the weight of image is much heavier.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

DokiDoki....allegedly .....

@itsonlyrocknroll. Thanks for the YouTube link. I knew it!! Typical talentless J-pop garbage featuring a few "mediocre" gals in high school attire.

The judge in this case ought to tack on another ¥100,000 fine to the manager for incompetence.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In this case,plaintiff submitted contract and verdict was given based on contact clauses. The girl is in school age. Be careful in Japan, There are business that specialize to use young girls disrupting their schooling.The girl can sue manager ln criminal court claiming he provided circumstance for some men did statutory rape as she was only 15,

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@djv124

This isn't America, or the West, and I think people need to realize that in Japan, things are done according to THEIR beliefs and ideals, not Western beliefs and ideals.

This is a constantly repeated line of thinking that does not express a logical ethical argument. It is an evasion of ethics. One could have said the same thing about slavery or cannibalism (I am not equating the situation in the article to slavery or cannibalism in any way). Furthermore, just because some westerner is criticizing something, doesn't mean Japanese people won't criticize it either. Societies change. That's everywhere. In a free society, everyone has a right to make an argument.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@shallots

This isn't about logical arguments or even trying to appeal to logic. It's about paradigms and perspectives and how Western perspectives of what is "ethical" and what isn't "ethical" always seems to be what people think is the "right" way of thinking and behaving. It isn't. For instance, there are some tribes still in the world who believe it's perfectly "ethical" to eat you. But according to "Western" values, that's wrong, right? That violates human rights, correct? No, not correct, it's all about a matter of perspective, which is usually dictated by religious beliefs, sociological upbringing, and GEOGRAPHY. The fact is, Japan is NOT like the rest of the world, and sure, everybody has a right to argue anything they want, but many arguments just simply aren't valid when it comes to crying and complaining about how another country chooses to act and address things that go on in that country. This isn't the same thing as when human rights are, in fact, violated, such as if a country decided to go ahead and make child porn legal, or make it their national goal to eliminate all Jewish people. There are universal human rights that we can all agree on, I should think. BUT Japanese people saying that a girl can legally be married to a man at age 16 (check the laws, that's true), or that the age of consent is 13 for most children to have sex... well, that's not a violation of human rights, that's a matter of perspective. The fact is, the idol culture doesn't promote any of this kind of stuff. Go to an idol concert, see what it's all about, and you'll find that in most instances, the idol world is more "Kawaii" than anything else. It promotes the idea of "Kawaii" more than anything else. All these other ideas about the idol world being so wrong because it takes advantage of young girls is absolute rubbish by people who want to argue but don't even know what they are arguing about. The idol world is a safe form of escapism for both the fans that ascribe to it and the girls (and guys) who perform as idols. There are always going to be bad apples in anything, but the majority of the girls (and guys) who are idols have ZERO problem with abiding by the idol perspective of no dating and no relationships, simply because they are driven and focused on being performers, which is also a major reason the love ban rule exists. And as for the categorizing the fans as hopeless, salivating old men who lust after young girls, again, complete nonsense. Go to any idol concert and you'll see it's full of all people, all ages, all sexes, all sizes.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Her career was only worth $5400.00?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't know why so many are arguing about rights and what promoters put in contracts. She read and agreed to the contract, along with her parents. If she disagreed with some clause, she should have worked it out first, but she didn't. She violated the contract willingly, so she (her parents) should pay.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

the judge need to review this case again. wrong judgement. some people not realized or educated enough to read and fully understood the contract before signing. the music company should advised the girl and her mom to seek legal aid before signing. That is to protect both parties.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

We're not in the middle ages.... when girls were married off at 13 and older. In this society... in these modern times, adulthood takes longer. You might think otherwise but the fact is a thousand years ago you had to carry your load from a much younger age. These Japanese promoters, like many things Japanese, are stuck in a culture (aka Galapagos), that prides itself in its ability to remain Japanese but totally ignores the norms and advances of the world around it. Reaching adulthood is much more complicated now than it ever was and these girls have no idea of where they're going or where they'll end up. Add the parents in to boot. Generally if you have a parent that is all for the exploitation of their daughter then guess what.... they may not be fit to parent in the first place. But you can't blame them... they're caught up in the whole Japanese world of pimping out your daughter because she's cute and sexy. It is the world they live in and the know no other. Heck... the world is full of BS. This, the full on, in your face, exploitation of young girls in Japan is just another example of what is normal in this modern day.... like Gladiators in Rome. But bottom line.... time will tell.... EXPLOITATION is what it is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Danalawton, that people are not married off forcibly in their teens is great but can you start by justifying why later consent ages is an Objective plus?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That is quite a load. I bet there were more Hannah Montana fans out there than is commonly known and you know what I am talking about. Japan is more open about certain things. North America just hides the truth like dirty laundry.

and they are very bad in doing it ,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Scrote

Contracts which stipulate things like "no relationships" should be thrown out as they violate constitutionally guaranteed rights. It should not be possible to sign away your rights, but the daft Japanese courts clearly think otherwise.

First off, the company for whatever reasons has taken responsibility to see to it that underage girls in their employ are not sexually abused. So the no relationship clause in their contract isn't an outrageous infringement on a young girls right to meet up for sex at love hotels. Each nation and culture has their own laws and cultural norms. Does every nation have to adhere to the approved standards of foreigners? Ah no. Also, it is lawful to infringe upon the perceived rights of people - to a limited extent. No freedom is absolute and companies can ask potential employees to agree to certain standards of conduct. The potential employee is not obligated to agree to these conditions. They have a choice. In the case of underage entertainers their parents also have the choice and responsibility to protect their child.

It's up to the Japanese people to police their own culture. But I do have an opinion. And at the risk of stating the obvious, the Japanese idol culture sure does seem exploitive of children and teens to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

the judge need to review this case again. wrong judgement. some people not realized or educated enough to read and fully understood the contract before signing. the music company should advised the girl and her mom to seek legal aid before signing. That is to protect both parties.

Do you seek legal aid for applying to entry level position?

The possibility that the contract was tricky on this point is practically eliminable - they want this clause kept at all times, so it is not fine-print. If they fudged at all on their verbal clarifications, it'll be to make the clause sound more extensive than they can legally write on that sheet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@djv124

This isn't about logical arguments or even trying to appeal to logic. It's about paradigms and perspectives and how Western perspectives...it's all about a matter of perspective, which is usually dictated by religious beliefs, sociological upbringing, and GEOGRAPHY. The fact is, Japan is NOT like the rest of the world...

I don't find your "arguments" very convincing, less so the appeal to illogic and non-argument. The danger here is incoherence. Do you think women should be able to drive? Does it matter if there is a logical argument for it? Japan IS like the rest of the world in that many Japanese people have things they want to improve in their society and lives and in their children's and family's lives. I agree there are many causes for the way things are. But causes are different from justifications. Slavery has a religious justification as well.

For instance, there are some tribes still in the world who believe it's perfectly "ethical" to eat you. But according to "Western" values, that's wrong, right? That violates human rights, correct? No, not correct, it's all about a matter of perspective...

You're joking right? I feel like I'm being punked.

It promotes the idea of "Kawaii" more than anything else...

Another idea - kawaii - open for critique. Kawaii weakens the mind and deadens the "soul"... for east and west!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is wise not to forget that Boys and Girls in their teenage years are impressionable to adult influence and peer pressure. Being paid undue attention to the allure/illusion of a mature male heaping 'charm' and 'praise', is seductive but fails to reveal the big bad wolf, Little Red Riding Hood had a lucky escape.

This young lady was not so fortunate, having been betrayed callously by the Judiciary, reduced to little more than a signature and left to be cynically manipulated with the empty promises of future stardom by the seedy greed of a miserable management company.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@itsonlyrocknroll Hear Hear! Well said. It's all built on deception isn't it? This judge should really be disbarred. It reminds me that jurisprudence doesn't work in a vacuum. If the judges have no ethical perspective, then the law is "an ass" as the saying goes.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What "ethical" perspective is there siding with someone that can't even keep their promises for THREE MONTHS?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Judge has to use litigants' claims Why judge should be disbarred when he handled routine business lawsuit? The young girl can sue people who had sex with her in a criminal court. DA will handle case with a judge who is experienced in criminal lawauits will preside. If rape case is within statutory limit,

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am wondering about the legality of this court decision. Since illegal contract clauses are not enforceable (Japan labor law), my guess is that this decision is illegal. If I was the family, I would contest the ruling and not pay.

Now, the real culprits here are the men who "invited" this 15 years-old girl in a hotel room (child abuse) and the management company for their shady practices and child exploitation.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's a no-dating clause; not a no-threesome clause!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Such a clause should be illegal. Surely it's against human rights for a company to forbid it's employees to have relationships? Such an employee becomes a kind of inverted sex-slave.... Sex forbidden with someone of your choice so that consumers of your employer's product supposedly buy more. The most worrying aspect of this is that the court supports it. Japanese courts (laws) often seem to arbitrarily support unjust claims and decisions. The girl in this case's age is another matter and more clear cut I would assume.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Guillaume VarèsSEP. 24, 2015 - 08:35AM JST I am wondering about the legality of this court decision. Since illegal contract clauses are not enforceable (Japan labor law), my guess is that this decision is illegal.

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How do you guess it is illegal contracr? Did you read contract and do you know Business laws relaring to contracts?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"...a focus on visual image more than the group’s sound is a time-tested way of compensating for deficiencies in musical talent." - I would change that to "sever deficiencies."

If the girl knew this was part of the contract to be an idol, then she is at fault. Don't like it, don't sign it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@toshiko

Some legal scholars are arguing that "chastity clauses" may be illegal under Japan Labor Standards law.

Labor contracts, like all contracts, are predicated on the assumption of agreement between two parties. But that does not mean that anything goes when it comes to their provisions. Four conditions must all be met to legitimize each and every term of a contract: kakuteisei (determinacy), jitsugen kanōsei (achievability), tekihōsei (legality) and shakaiteki datōsei (social justification).

It is the fourth, shakaiteki datōsei , that concerns us in the AKB48 case. This concept entails general ideals of morality and justice, specifically kōjo ryōzoku (public order and morality), a crucial and broadly ranging legal principle enshrined in Article 90 of the Civil Code.

Contract terms that violate kōjo ryōzoku are invalid. Textbook examples include: paying for a crime; terms that violate fundamental human rights, such as gender bias; terms that restrict individual freedom; and those that violate social morals such as human trafficking, prostitution or geisha provisions. While traditional geisha exist within the scope of the law, asking an employee to “entertain” a client does not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

vARES: Thank you for reply but whtr you wrote are labor contract in factories that has nothing to do with entertainment industry as these girls were not in kojo (factory) and entertainment is not considered labor. Try to find business contract instead of factory worker related discussion.
1 ( +1 / -0 )

THere are too many things wrong with this to ever begin!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is a clause like this even admissible under contract law? Any lawyers here?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@toshiko

Japan Labor Standards law, Article 8 (Scope of enterprises covered)

(10) Motion picture production and projection, theatrical performance and other entertainment enterprises

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The age of consent in Japan is 12.

Not everywhere in the world is USA.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@bellboa45

The age of consent in Japan is 13 years old under the Japanese national criminal law code.However, all municipalities and prefectures have their own particular laws such as Tokyo's “Youth Protection Law” which prohibit adults from having sex with youths who are under 17 years old.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A child gets exploited by management and goodness knows who else, then is considered culpable in a court of law and has to compensate those who exploited her. Utter madness.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The headline is wrong. It should say "...after going to hotel with male fans" There were two guys, not just one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Guillaume VarèsSEP. 24, 2015 - 01:24PM JST @toshiko Japan Labor Standards law, Article 8 (Scope of enterprises covered) (10) Motion picture production and projection, theatrical performance and other entertainment enterprises

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Both of litigants were in the court for violation of contract. They were not arguing legitimacy of the clause of contract. Therefore the judge gave decision on behalf of plaintiff.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anything unconstitutional is unenforceable. Use your constitution

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@HomotenashiSEP. 26, 2015 - 06:26AM JST Anything unconstitutional is unenforceable. Use your constitution

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

???

What this lawsuit got do with constitution? I'd bet you never read constitution.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please "her family" don't hide in shame. Sue her so-called management for leaving her unsupervised. Shouldn't the so-called contract provide for minors to be driven to and from these venues and provisions made for "adult" chaperones? The judge shall be judged! The cops need to get her iPhone and pursue the pervert to the fullest extent on the law. I heared 15 is the age of consent, but still so freaking sad on so many levels.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If it was in the contract, and she and her parents signed it, they're obliged to stick by it

...this isn't how contracts work. Just because you sign something doesn't necessarily make it legally enforceable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@toshiko

If the contract contains illegal clauses, then it can be considered invalid and therefore not enforceable. Furthermore, according to Japan Labor Standards Law it is illegal for a company to ask for monetary compensation to an employee.

That being said, a strong responsibility rests on the girl's family. Who in their right mind would deal with this kids of dishonest, scheming companies? Links between AKB and organized crime have been referenced, so in a way the family was kind of looking for trouble.

Now, if I was the family, I would countersue the management company, or at the very least I would never pay a cent to them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Guill: When verdict was given for plaintiff's behalf, recourse for defendant is either appealing or file different lawsuit against management or people who brought her to the hotel. If men were minors, usually media mention so I assume they are adults. Not to be accused as coverup business of minor using hooker service business they use their business standard contract form available in any attorneys' office.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As others have noted, these idol groups are consisted of girls who are legally minors, so the so-called "chastity clauses" are as much about the management companies covering their *sses as they are about promoting image. Once the performers reach adulthood, then yes, these clauses should automatically become null and void.

However, let's not that many of us will have clauses written into our work contracts where we are not permitted to say, furgle our undergrads, irrespective of age. I can certainly see how going to a hotel with two fans for the purpose of sex sails pretty close to mizushobai and could therefore open the management company up to prosecution.

Who knows what motivated the girl to do what she did? Maybe she should have been better protected - but then one cannot discount social media these days and she could have organised it in secret.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This girls got punching from everywhere

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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