Japanese woman forced into porn says she felt trapped and 'under pressure to say yes'

Kurumin Aroma is now a YouTuber and campaigner

Olivia Blair
Tuesday 16 May 2017 14:47
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A woman who was misled into the adult industry after initially being scouted for modelling on the streets of Tokyo has said she felt trapped and had “nowhere to turn for help”.

Last year, a report found that increasing numbers of Japanese women were being forced into pornography. The report, by the Tokyo based organisation Human Rights Now, alleged that scouts had approached women in the street and offered them opportunities in the entertainment or modelling industries before being coerced or tricked into appearing in adult videos against their will.

Kurumin Aroma, now a prominent YouTuber in the country, said after initially being scouted for modelling - which she hoped would advance her TV celebrity career - she was later presented with a contract which required she would have to remove her clothes.

“That was the first I’d heard about nudity,” she told The Guardian. “I cried, but felt under a lot of pressure to say yes, so I agreed.”

Aroma’s modelling agency then raised the possibility of making an adult film and after several meetings where she was allegedly affronted with up to eight senior men demanding her involvement in the films she agreed.

“They told me I could stop at any time if I felt uncomfortable or if it hurt. But that wasn’t true,” she told the newspaper.

Japan’s porn industry is estimated to make around £3 billion a year through sales and subscription fees. It produces around 20,000 videos each year.

Following the allegations of abuse last year, the government even intervened launching a survey about the industry’s recruitment of women. The adult industry association also promised to investigate and said it encouraged producers to “quickly improve the situation”.

Aroma has now left the industry and vlogs regularly on YouTube having amassed more than 15,000 subscribers. She has spoken about her ordeal at several events and told the paper she sought comfort in finally knowing she was in control of her body and career.

“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,” she said.

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