sports

2,500 cases reported of sexually exploitative photos of athletes

48 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
Login to comment

2500 cases? Japan has serious problem with infantile males who can't resist a pathetic juvenile urge. I read far too much of this crap, ranging from obsessive to the downright mentally ill, when it comes to Japanese men. It truly makes me wonder when I do my walkabouts in the country - which guy, young or old is a pervert?

-11 ( +15 / -26 )

I will probably look insensitive, but I am really on the fence on this one.

Around 2,500 cases of nonconsensual sexualized images objectifying athletes... 

...having photographs of a sexual nature taken of them while they competed.

I mean, in a non-sexual context, what does sexualized images mean...Like, err, a hunky rugby guy rolling on the ground is a key shot of the game and a female gymnastic athlete falling on the ground is a salacious sexy shot?

During the Tokyo Games, the German women's gymnastics team wore body-covering unitards instead of the customary bikini-cut leotards in a move that the German Gymnastics Federation said was a stand against sexualization.

...Well, if it means "sexy clothing", then they either have athletes change their wardrobe or ban taking photographs in general...

Don't get me wrong, I kind of get the idea, but you need to be very clear as to what you mean and how you want to solve it (read: suggest concrete solutions and not only ranting about you know, "stuff").

In May, the Metropolitan Police Department arrested a 37-year-old man for alleged copyright infringement after he posted images of several female athletes without permission on a porn website he operates, their first arrest based on information gathered by the JOC.

Also in June, a 57-year-old man in nearby Chiba Prefecture was arrested on suspicion of damaging the reputation of a female athlete by posting a video he secretly took of her in a sexualized context on a porn site.

Again, are we talking about pictures / film as they were taken during a non-sexual context or a guy who played with the cut/past function on Adobe and cut out athletes' heads to paste them on porn actresses' bodies?

On a side-note, I am looking forward to the Japanese idol-business taking a strong stance against sexualized exploitation of minors in the industry...(sarcasm inside)

26 ( +29 / -3 )

It would be insightful to know how many of those 2,500 cases submitted to the website have been determined by the police department to contain genuine nonconsensual sexualized images objectifying athletes. How many arrests resulted from these 2,500 cases?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Blue makes a good point. I know women who have posted "sexualized" pictures of men engaged in sports, with comments about how "hot" they are. Is that a crime? Or is it only a crime if men do it of women athletes? And why exactly is it a crime? It seems it's not the picture itself that's a crime, but the comments or intention expressed behind posting the picture (i.e. a thought crime).

I understand the feelings of the athletes, and agree that such posting can be vulgar and unkind, but does the solution to every such problem require the blunt force of criminal law and the police? We know where that leads.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

More woke nonsense. Maybe female athletes should just wear burqas so as not to be violated by the male gaze.

All these far left SJWs pretend to be really nice people who care about the downtrodden, when really they're just little dictators who want to censor everything, and throw everyone they disagree with to the dogs.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

The (legitimate) Japanese media has a long tradition of this. When I first came here, the sports tabloids' photos of female tennis players with their skirts blowing upward while hitting shots, golfers in tight slacks bending over to retrieve their balls, etc. were de rigeur. I didn't like it, but I don't recall the Japanese public complaining.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Clearly there should be be links to fully understand this issue.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

To clarify, the October 7, 2021 photo was sourced from AP, not ‘local’ media and occurred after the Olympics yet as this article points out:

It's really important the issue is not being forgotten," JOC executive board member Keiko Momii said. "We'll keep informing people on this issue regularly so people can keep it in mind."
-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Been there. They don't say "balls out" for nothing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We've all had female friends tell us that a "creepy man" was looking at her and she didn't like it.

To which I asked, was I creepy too? The answer was, "no, I don't mind when you look."

Somehow, men are supposed to know when they are creepy, from the woman's perspective?

I competed in a sport where the men probably wore less than any other sport - diving. There were certainly film and photos take during the competitions and during training that someone else thought was sexual or inappropriate. I never saw the point. If others like looking, fine. If they don't like looking, fine. If they go any farther than looking ... like making rude comments, then I might have a problem. It is amazing what women will say to a man they don't know anything about. We expect that from men, but not from women. I've been shocked more than a few times.

Now, if someone is selling the photo or video and they don't have a signed release to use my image for non-personal reasons - or in public - that's when I have a problem with it. Bring on the lawyers.

Acting like humans don't find other humans sexually attractive is just stupid.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Why is this in the sports section. Should be in the crime part!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

blue Today 06:42 am JST

Well, if it means "sexy clothing", then they either have athletes change their wardrobe or ban taking photographs in general...

Why is it that it's always suggested (by men) that it is women who need to change their behavior in order to avoid men abusing them? Why is it not suggested that men be taught not to abuse women?

And if women took up skirt/down shirt pictures of sexy rugby players when their uniforms slip and flesh is accidentally over-exposed, compiled them into a database, and shared them as porn, then you could make that equivocation. But this isn't something women do. It's men who exploit the female form for their own non-consensual personal selfish sexual gratification. Not women.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

Fu Today 08:54 am JST

Somehow, men are supposed to know when they are creepy, from the woman's perspective?

I'd ask in return, don't you care if you are scaring women? Would it not bother you to know that your behavior is making a woman feel uncomfortable and unsafe around you? If you say yes, then I'd suggest going though the trouble of listening to women and finding out why they feel the way they do. Then you'll know. And it really won't take that much effort on your part.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

JeffLee Today 07:35 am JST

The (legitimate) Japanese media has a long tradition of this. When I first came here, the sports tabloids' photos of female tennis players with their skirts blowing upward while hitting shots, golfers in tight slacks bending over to retrieve their balls, etc. were de rigeur. I didn't like it, but I don't recall the Japanese public complaining.

So if no one complains, that makes it somehow okay?

And now that someone IS complaining, you are complaining that the complaining has begun? Why?

Did it not occur to you that society learns, changes, and grows?

Now that they know it's wrong, they are complaining. Instead of complaining that they are now complaining, you should be celebrating the progress being made.

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

roughly half the material related to them was found to have been deleted.

Bull! The material is still out there somewhere, on someone's computer, or in a cloud.

Whomever made this statement is an idiot!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So,Covid was not the only downside of the just held Olympics?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am not surprised at all, just walk into any convenience store and on your way to the bathrooms all you see is magazines with photo of half naked women, Japan seem to have found the proper place for them!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Tough one. Ultimately if the athletes feel uncomfortable about a photo because it reveals something the photos should be taken down, but I'm not sure that qualifies as sexualization of them -- or at least, not a criminal offense. Now, if a magazine or what have you has two great pics of an athlete taking a swing (let's say tennis), but instead choose to show one with a skirt blowing up and bottom revealed, or some guy's junk visible through his pants as the focus, BECAUSE of the aforementioned reveals, that is worthy of some scorn... though again, maybe not criminal (unless they refuse to stop selling / take it down, etc.).

That said, changing uniforms to be less sexualized, I understand. Like women's gold uniforms, which the old men in charge moaned about when women wanted them changed, or lest we forget Japan had professional female athletes wearing those "bloomers" (underwear, basically).

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

To quote the very SAME article above: “It's really important the issue is not being forgotten," JOC executive board member Keiko Momii said. "We'll keep informing people on this issue regularly so people [photographers and media included] can keep it in mind."

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

So where are these pics anyway?

Has anyone even seen them online?

No link, no pics, no proof.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

I can’t understand how taking photographs of a public sporting event can be criminalized. If athletes are exposing themselves or sexualizing themselves in a public venue perhaps they should stop doing that. The problem is that athletes are wearing clothing that is inappropriate. Modern fabrics can be used to cover everything without interfering with the sport. Don’t create a crime out of something that is seen by a stadium full of people.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Also in June, a 57-year-old man in nearby Chiba Prefecture was arrested on suspicion of damaging the reputation of a female athlete by posting a video he secretly took of her in a sexualized context on a porn site

Taking and sharing pictures surreptitiously, when someone is changing or at a point where some part gets exposed is wrong. You don’t take upskirt pictures of someone wearing a short dress, so should it be for athletes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Photographing your favorite sport, or event, or Athlete is NOT a crime, but when you go out of your way to take that CREEPY shot and upload it for the world to see and try to make a buck$ is a crime and should be punishable.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

At the Olympics there are lot of nice bodies and lots of skin. There is nothing new about this. The problem is one of publication. Because of digital photography it is easy to publish athletes' photos in places they would not wish to be published. Words can be more exploitive than images.

In this age of the string bikini whatever the Olympic athletes wear is modest by comparison. Fame, unfortunately, is the real culprit. Become famous and lose yourself.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Who likes or watches such disgusting ones? And in addition it’s almost similarly weird, not only the making of those 2500 pictures but as well the sophisticated research, counting and publication of those cases. lol

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Also it is a waste of time and money, but some dudes have perfect jobs: checking arousing photos and videos in internet and report them to each other.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@girl_in_tokyo

blue Today 06:42 am JST

During the Tokyo Games, the German women's gymnastics team wore body-covering unitards instead of the customary bikini-cut leotards in a move that the German Gymnastics Federation said was a stand against sexualization.

Well, if it means "sexy clothing", then they either have athletes change their wardrobe or ban taking photographs in general...

Why is it that it's always suggested (by men) that it is women who need to change their behavior in order to avoid men abusing them? Why is it not suggested that men be taught not to abuse women?

I allowed myself to put back the part (in bold) that you omitted to copy-paste when quoting me as it clarifies the context of what I was saying, namely that the German women's team seemed to have deemed the clothing or the design of their clothing as "problematic" or making their members feeling uneasy in some way. Women should also be allowed to wear in public. what makes them feel more comfortable. Don't you think so?

The articles have expired but by googling "beach volley sexualization 2021 japantoday", you will still be able to see the some headlines and snippets of text on how female gymnastics teams chose to wear unitards and female beach volley teams to choose shorts over bikini bottoms for (I assume) the same reasons.

Sexualization is not only about how people see you or perceive you, it may also be about how you are expected to present yourself (whether this expectation is social, in your company, etc). On a non-sexualized topic, there was the Kutoo movement where female company workers were protesting against being required (by company regulation) to wear high heels as a part of their employee uniforms which they disliked or caused them pain/discomfort.

Did it not occur to you that society learns, changes, and grows?

Well, and societal changes do not only sometimes go both ways but also sometimes swing back. As far as high heels go, here is an interesting topic on them (courtesy of Wiki).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-heeled_shoe

There is a little bit to learn in this for all of us, don't you think so?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

blueToday 12:16 pm JST

Sexualization is not only about how people see you or perceive you, it may also be about how you are expected to present yourself (whether this expectation is social, in your company, etc).

It seems you really haven't interrogated why society has the expectation that women be especially demure, while men can wear whatever they like without being sexually harassed/assaulted and then blamed for it due to their choice of clothing.

One thing I've learned in my 48 years on earth is that women can be sexually assaulted no matter what we are wearing, and that men who use that as an excuse to blame you are purely being self-serving.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Wolfpac kToday 10:15 am JST

If athletes are exposing themselves or sexualizing themselves in a public venue perhaps they should stop doing that. The problem is that athletes are wearing clothing that is inappropriate.

No, the problem is abusive men who refuse to take responsibility for their abuse, and instead put the blame on women they are abusing.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Does anyone know where we can see these photos? I need to, um...verify...the uh...evidence....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

JOC member Keiko Momii can kiss my taxes.

More bach bending... "oh the copyright infringement~"

IF it was about the women, you'd put your big money where your mouth is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Couldnt even get rid of Mori. Oh please do remind us.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A slew of ignorant commentary - the typical swashbuckling trope 'woke' employed as a slur by the less than enlightened, one of the many marks of the deadened awareness of bigots & misogynists - almost all who are from The West. Incredibly dumb remarks, such as, 'I need to verify the evidence', posited as 'witticisms'. All reflecting the barbarism that poses as a culture in the Americas.

All of it less than mindful. And basely illustrate a complete indifference and inability to comprehend a gross wrong that reached beyond violating another.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The string bikini culture. And fame. Cited as a reason for ignorant behavior. Incredible.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Other women in Japan are groped on the train on a daily basis and filmed up their skirts on staircases in the station, by men including off-duty policemen. Women get paid less, passed over for promotion, and rejected from medical school. Those who are sexually attacked are forced into horrific re-enactments and invariably blamed if they went somewhere, even just a cafe, with the perp. These are far bigger issues than cropped photos of athletes bums or whatever underwear can be seen under their running gear. Like the stuff about having to wear shoes with 5cm heels, campaigns like this belittle and trivialize what happens to women in Japan. There are far more widespread and severe problems that deserve attention first. Let's protect the schoolgirls on the trains.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

For all and any who advocate 'against' the attempt to put the kibosh on culling ignorant behavior - and by your stance deem it is apropos to dress female athletes in outfits (such as beach volleyball) that are to attract 'viewership' by employing a sexualized context: perhaps males should be required to clothe themselves in attire that that reveals their Olympic musculature, such being appropriate for several sports, from track to volleyball:

https://www.thebeaverton.com/wp-content/uploads/9f0f76121d84fcbb2b3ad2ea250c6213.jpg

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Should I take down the posters we have on the walls of sexy skaters at the corporate head quarters?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Although most pervs are men most men are pervs.

Eh... Wait no, let me try that again.

Although most pervs are men most men are not pervs.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

kohakuebisu Today  01:24 pm JST

These are far bigger issues than cropped photos of athletes bums or whatever underwear can be seen under their running gear

i don’t think you’ve fully considered the cumulative effect. From benign sexism to catcalling to rape, it all comes from the same place and effects the perception of women’s place in society. This is referred to as rape culture. In other words, it ALL matters and none of it should be taken lightly.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I’ve seen examples of these photos in the past. Anyone trying to make money off them must really be scraping the barrel, hoping that a few losers might want to pay up for their ‘services’.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

There is another image on the front page of a female judo athlete with her head uncovered. In some cultures, that might be considered "sexual."

Some men might fantasize about the images from behind of Canadian softball players in tights that really accentuated the posterior and some men might fantasize about the bare legs of the Japanese softball players who wore long shorts. Some men have a hand fetish.

Porn is really hard to define but everyone knows it when they see it. It most countries "community standards" are used to set the line but with an international event with many countries and cultures represented, it is almost impossible to draw a line based on "community standards."

However, the one thing that I think everyone can agree on is that when the figure skater had a wardrobe malfunction that exposed her upper body, no pictures or video should have been allowed on-line.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Seems these athletes don't mind: https://nypost.com/2021/07/22/olympics-2021-the-sexiest-athletes-to-watch-for-in-tokyo-2/

Athletes are going to be watched, photographed, videoed. That's part of the event. If you don't like it, then don't sign up for the competition. This is in the "water is wet" category when it comes to people taking images for personal use.

Many events have a different license needed to publish photos or videos from that event. The Olympics and many other sporting events have licenses like that.

Section 19.6.3 of Olympic ticket license states that: "Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a ticket holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a ticket holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally".

For professional photographers, any images or video can only be use by real news organizations and not for any commercial/non-commercial use other than that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

theFuToday 03:45 am JST

Seems these athletes don't mind.

So because a few athletes post their own personal pictures online, you think that means they are also consenting for pictures to be taken when they happen to be positioned in a way that shows more skin than intended, by people who plan to sell them online as porn? How does that compute, exactly?

That's part of the event. If you don't like it, then don't sign up for the competition.

In other words, if female athletes want to compete, they have to tolerate their pictures being used in a way that they did not consent to. Not male athletes, mind you; male athletes don't face this problem - only the female ones do.

This is in the "water is wet" category when it comes to people taking images for personal use.

For professional photographers, any images or video can only be use by real news organizations and not for any commercial/non-commercial use other than that.

This isn't what the article is talking about. Merely taking pictures of an event as a spectator, or as a professional photographer reporting on a sporting event, are not the same thing as someone purposely waiting until they can get a panty shot or boob shot so that they can sharpen up the image and sell it to a porn site. The lengths men will go to in order to justify sexual exploitation of women is on full display here.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

ShinkansenCabooseOct. 17 02:08 pm JST

Should I take down the posters we have on the walls of sexy skaters at the corporate head quarters?

Yes. Yes, you should.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This isn't what the article is talking about. Merely taking pictures of an event as a spectator, or as a professional photographer reporting on a sporting event, are not the same thing as someone purposely waiting until they can get a panty shot or boob shot so that they can sharpen up the image and sell it to a porn site. The lengths men will go to in order to justify sexual exploitation of women is on full display here.

And that is already illegal.

I don't think we disagree, but we are coming at it from different perspectives.

There is little difference between ex-significant others posting revenge porn and what some porn sites accept from random videographers from athletic competitions. Go after Google/Youtube and Facebook first. Please. Those are seen much more than the porn websites.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway, shouldn't this article should be in Crime rather than Sports?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, if an athlete is in short shorts, and we take a picture of the athlete in short shorts, then we got a picture of short shorts, lol

0 ( +0 / -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