Kurumin Aroma talks at a public event about her experience of being forced to appear in pornographic films. Photo: Kurumin Aroma
Over the following months, relevant agencies raised the possibility of making a pornographic video, summoning her several times to the firms office for meetings. Faced with repeated demands from as many as eight male staff, she eventually capitulated.
They told me I could stop at any time if I felt uncomfortable or if it hurt. But that wasnt true, she said.
A slew of the report of the working about women being offered modelling contracts, merely to be tricked or coerced into appearing in X-rated cinemas, has finally prompted authorities in Japan to confront the darker side of its multibillion dollar porn industry.
Last year, the government launched its first survey of the industrys recruitment of vulnerable young women and found that 200 among the 20,000 surveyed had signed modelling contracts, with more than 50 afterwards asked to pose nude or have sex on camera.
From January to November 2016, 148 women sought help from Lighthouse, which supports victims of human trafficking, and People Against Pornography and Sexual Violence a dramatic rise from the 83 instances recorded for the whole of 2015 and merely 29 the year before.
In one high-profile example that resulted in the arrests of three talent scout, one girl was forced to appear in more than 100 cinemas after being told her family would be informed if she refused. Some victims say they were forced to have sex without protection, or were gang-raped.
In response, the Intellectual Property Promotion Association, which represents Japans adult film industry, promised to encourage producers to take action to quickly improve the situation and restore the soundness of the entire industry.
It added: The association deeply regrets that we had failed to take initiative( to deal with problem before ). We are very sorry.
Kazuko Ito, a lawyer and general secretary of Human Rights Now, welcomed a recent police crackdown on street touts working for the porn and commercial sexuality industry, but said the industry had to be forced to change its ways.
The incredible thing is that production firms can act with impunity, Ito told. There is no law against coercing women into appearing in porn films, and no government supervising of the industry. But this isnt merely a legal issue, its a violation of human rights.
The Japanese porn industry is worth an estimated 500 billion yen( US $4.4 bn) in annual marketings, with as many as 20,000 titles released every year. About a quarter of all cinemas is directed at older viewers – a reflection of Japans rapidly ageing society.
Typically, women in their late teens and early 20 s, are approached on the street, told they have the seems and charisma to succeed in the mainstream entertainment industry, and are rushed into signing contracts that make oblique references to erotic material, or none at all.
When the women object, producers threaten them with penalties, sometimes running into millions of yen, or say they will tell their parents, friends or former colleagues abut their new career.
In some instances, women who attempt to fled the set of a film are caught, confined to hotel rooms or taken to remote locations where escape is impossible. There is rarely any actual violence, Ito told. But there are lots of other forms of pressure.
Now a YouTube personality with more than 15,000 subscribers, Aroma tells she has never discussed her porn appearances with her parents and has been shunned by furious relatives.
For the whole period I was involved in the porn film industry, my male handlers told me I belonged to them, she told. I had no freedom and nowhere to turn for help. I was trapped.
Aroma succeeded in blocking DVDs sales of her two cinemas, but several clips detected their style online. It was only when she sought Itos help and met other victims that she felt able to speak out about her ordeal.
I was scared about going public, but by then I knew I wasnt alone, she told. I was finally in control, and that was a great source of strength. At the time I felt responsible for what happened to me, so speaking out has helped me to realise that I am not the guilty one.