Hello People of Japan.

We are Anonymous.

In March 2018, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced that, to combat the rise in manga piracy, the government was “considering all measures including site blocking”.

In early April, the Japanese government announced, in spite of the clear violation of Article 21 of the Japanese Constitution, that it would seek the cooperation of Japanese ISPs to block suspected pirate sites,

The government’s justification for this is to regard content piracy as a “present danger” under Article 37 of the Penal Code, which states “An act unavoidably performed to avert a present danger to the life, body, liberty or property of oneself or any other person is not punishable”.

Indeed, we can recognize a “present danger” here, but not in the form of manga piracy.

Government censorship, violation of Constitutional law, breach of communications privacy…these “present dangers” are right before us.

We do not speak in favor of piracy sites, nor do we defend them. That is not the reason we are speaking out on this issue.

But justifying government-ordered site blocking under Article 37 of the Penal Code is not only ludicrous, it’s also dangerous.

No matter what impact pirate sites may or may not have on the manga industry, the loss of profits can never be a considered a “present danger” in any way. Widening the definition of Penal Code Article 37 to such a ridiculous degree only invites further abuse, as other information and activities can easily be judged as more harmful than mere copyright infringement, and worth blocking.

The use of Penal Code Article 37 that allowed the blocking of child pornography sites raised concerns about a slippery slope of widening censorship. We were told that this was only a limited exception to Article 21, and there was no need for such fears. And yet now we are witnessing the slippery slope in action.

Even without a binding law, requests for voluntary cooperation to ISPs by the police or government are a form of pressure. The position of power government holds effectively coerces cooperation, making any such requests de-facto demands.

Further, asking ISPs to block access to certain sites encourages them to track the browsing habits of Japanese internet users more generally, which violates privacy of communications and expands the surveillance state.

We strongly condemn any site blocking requests from the government, and urge Japanese ISPs to refuse these requests and defend users’ Article 21 rights to privacy, and against censorship. These are actions we would expect from authoritarian countries like China and North Korea, not a Constitutional Democracy like Japan.

However, merely asking the government and ISPs to stop is not enough. It is necessary for Japanese users to secure their own privacy and freedom from censorship. To make this possible, we strongly recommend the use of Tor or a VPN. We will escalate our work to provide Tor and other VPN software in Japanese, as well as information on how to use this software to bypass site blocking.

We urge all Japanese internet users to begin using Tor and VPNs now. The more people can easily bypass site blocking, the more ineffective government censorship becomes. And as for the politicians who desire to violate their own Constitution in the name of censorship powers….

Please learn how to feel shame.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect Us.

アノニマスの見解 Ep. 4: 芸能界の闇

Hello internet.


Things are going to be a little different from usual this time, as this episode’s theme comes by request from another member of our collective. And the theme today is “sextortion in the entertainment industry”. Why you ask? Because it’s an aspect of the entertainment world in Japan that few ordinary people know or hear about. So, let’s go over not just what’s been said around the issue, but also about the sort of mindset we need to properly deal with it.

2017年2月12日、人気上昇中のタレント清水富美加が「幸福の科学(HAPPY SCIENCE)」に出家するというニュースが世間の注目を集めた。この「幸福の科学」という宗教はいったい何なのか、気になるかもしれないが今本筋には関係無い。肝心なのは彼女がなぜ事務所を辞め出家したのかということだ。
On February 12th 2017, Fumika Shimizu, actress and rising star, announced that she was quitting showbiz and joining the infamous religious cult “Happy Science”. There’s a lot that can be said about Happy Science, little of it good, but that’s not the main issue here, so we’ll have to leave that for another time. What is important is the reason she decided to walk away from her career and her contract in the industry.

Naturally, in order to quit, Ms. Shimizu had to lawyer up and negotiate with her employer to get out of her contract. On February 1st, the Happy Science legal team made formal contact, stating that Ms. Shimizu wanted to quit as of February 20th, citing unreasonable working conditions, including a 31-day work month for a salary of 50,000 yen, and being forced to participate in swimsuit shots and movie appearances that went against her personal values. Above that, certain terms in the contract stipulated that Ms. Shimizu was forbidden the professional use of her own name even after cancellation, and even demanded the right to ignore medical orders if they interfered with her ability to work. The terms seemed more suited to a slavery agreement, not an employment contract. In other words, a notorious cult group was expressing shock at the labor practices of an entertainment industry company. Let that sink in.

そしてついに事務所が清水富美加本人に枕営業をさせていたのではないかという証拠まで発覚した。これは漫画家西原理恵子の描く漫画「ダーリンは70歳 LOVE007」の一節だ。西原理恵子の彼氏高須克弥氏が事務所からの枕営業を断る様子が描かれている。この漫画の登場人物の見た目、当時の年齢、すべてが問題の人物とぴたりと一致するのだ。この本の内容がすべて事実であれば、清水富美加は望まない性接待の強要を苦にして事務所を引退したと考えるのが妥当だろう。
As the case wore on, information surfaced that suggested Ms. Shimizu may have been pressured into sex for the sake of her career. These pages are from the “My Darling is 70 Years Old, LOVE 007”, a manga by cartoonist Rieko Saibara. In it, Rieko Saibara’s boyfriend Katsuya Takasu is depicted objecting to demands for sexual favors from an entertainment industry office. The appearance of the characters in the manga, the ages, everything matches exactly with Ms. Shimizu’s situation. Assuming that the manga is in any way based on facts, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that Fumika Shimizu decided to walk away from her contract because of similar demands by her employer.

None of us are happy with, or willing to tolerate, sleazy entertainment executives abusing their power to trample the rights of their employees. But the situation with Fumika Shimizu, unfortunately, is just the tip of a very large, very ugly iceberg. And sexual exploitation is an endemic problem in the entertainment industry.

On February 8th 2017, Rina Matsuno, a member of the idol group “Ebichu”, died tragically and suddenly at the age of 18. Although her death was reported as due to illness, considering the terms of employment brought to light in Ms. Shimizu’s case, the thought that it might be due to extreme pressure from unreasonably working conditions is hardly out of the question.

This is the idol group “Kamen Joshi”, first place winners of the Oricon Weekly Single Ranking in 2015. On January 8th of the same year, “Shuukan Bunshun” reported allegations of sexual misconduct by the president of Kamen Joshi’s management company towards members of the group. Four former members provided evidence to the paper in the form of e-mails, photos, and audio recordings, and two members gave vivid accounts of Seiji Ikeda, former president of the company, coercing members into sexual relationships against their will. Beyond just sexual coersion, further allegations surfaced of manipulative editing by NHK commercial broadcast stations, and absurd financial penalties levied on members trying to leave the group. On July 9th of that year, Karen Tsukimiya, a member of the group, committed suicide.

And finally, among all the despicable practices of the entertainment industry, we come to a group no less tainted by controversy for its size and popularity. I am referring, of course, to AKB48 group. Some former members who have already “graduated” from the group tell of forced sexual exploitation by stakeholders in the AKB franchise.

1.2008 年にAKB48を卒業した中西里菜は、「週刊大衆」に自身の性接待強要の経験を語っている。アイドルデビューから間もない17歳の頃に30-40歳くらいの業界人に無理矢理ホテルに連れ込まれ関係を持たされたそうだ…しかもこれが初体験だったというから非常に気の毒だ…
2.16歳でAKBに加入した高松理恵も、AKB加入後間もない17歳の時に年上の知 らない人に強引にホテルに連れ込まれ初体験を奪われたと、雑誌のインタビューで語っている。「私の初めてを返し て~!」という彼女の言葉が悲痛さを物語っている…明記はされていないがこれも業界人による性接待強要だろう。ほぼすべての枕営業が強姦まがいなのかもしれな い…
1. Nakanishi Rina who graduated of the idol group in 2008 told weekly newspaper “Shuukan Taisyuu” about her experience with such exploitation. Reportedly, almost immediately after her idol debut at the age of 17, she was forced to have sex…her first experiences, no less… in random hotel rooms with men as old as 30 or 40.
2. Rie Takamatsu, who joined AKB at the age of 16, told a very similar story in a magazine interview, stating that she was forcibly taken to a hotel room by a stranger against her will at age 17, shortly after joining the group. Her own words, “give me back my first time”, are painfully telling.…Although not explicitly stated, there’s ample reason to believe this is sexual coersion by members of the entertainment industry, and nothing less than rape…
3. Sato Seira, former member of a related idol group “SKE48”, related similar experiences of being brought to a hotel room by entertainment industry executives. Though thankfully, she was able to refuse by claiming to feel unwell and escape abuse at the time.

If these stories are true, there’s little doubt that these are only the tip of the iceberg, and that the AKB48 group’s management is forcing its young members into sex not as an exception, but as a rule. Young girls who jump into the entertainment industry in pursuit of their dreams can find themselves trapped within it, unable to seek help from friends and family, forced to suffer in silence. And as vile and depraved as this practice is, the victims may feel they have no choice but to tolerate it.

Knowing the depths and the nature of the sexual depravity at work within the bowels of AKB48’s management, and that of other idol groups, if you have a shred of human decency in you, can you stand to overlook this? If you’re a parent with children who dream of one day becoming idols themselves, and you know the kind of sexual coersion at work in the industry, can you truly allow your children to fall into the hands of men like these? We would hope nobody would be foolish enough to say Yes. If you’re a fan of AKB48 or any idol group, knowing the nature of the abuse in the industry, can you really ignore it and simply ask your precious idols to soldier on for the sake of your entertainment? Or for the sake of your own one-sided egotistical love affairs with them?

Then there are cases like this. On December 21st 2005, the Tokyo District Court (presiding Judge Hiroshi Noyama) awarded damages of 3.2 million yen to three former members of the idol group “Four Rush” related to charges of forced prostitution by their management company. According to the ruling, the president of the affiliated record company made the members bear a part of CD production costs, and tried to sell sexual services by the members for 30,000 yen in November of 1999. Executives in the entertainment industry tried to claim that this was “normal in the entertainment world”, but Judge Nooyama rebuked this argument, stating that “in our society, forced prostitution isn’t just offensive to public morals, it’s illegal”.

Sexual coersion in the entertainment industry is very real, and very harmful, resulting in broken lives and even driving some to suicide. This is not an issue to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with each new tragedy existing in a vacuum. If we understand that the very environment created by the entertainment industry is abnormal, if we have the courage to join our voices together and accuse the industry as a whole, we…all of us…can begin to put a stop to this. Join us. If you feel scared for your safety, then use anonymity as a shield like we do. But either way, it’s time to start criticizing the entertainment industry and the idol business for what it is, and to start moving against it.

If you’ve made it this far and want to support this cause, we’re starting a side series on this channel, “GEINOUKAI NO YAMI”. There’ll be more information on the issue coming from there.

This was ANONYMOUS NO KENKAI. And until next time… MACHIUKENASAI.