Ginza Takeover: JAV Actress' Take To Streets To Demand AV Law Revision!

Published : April 1st, 2024 Written by trapstar


Amid a heavy downpour that was reminiscent of the protest on August, 2022 at Tokyo’s Shimbashi Station that called to revise the law. Now, a similar protest arose in Ginza, Tokyo, on March 23, two years after the law was implemented. Among those in attendance was adult actress, Ichika Mogami but this time around, leading the charge instead of Yushioki Kurishita was Terry Ito, the director/producer, now in his 70s marched alongside AV stars in an attempt to revise the AV Law and save the industry from the danger of collapse. The setting was similar to that of the 2022 one, concluding with a signature campaign, but this time in front of the Yurakucho Station.


The reason why these JAV actresses took to the streets is to seek to avoid and repair damage that is an issue with their adult contracts. The current law seeks a contract for each task. Further, a time of one month from the contract to the shooting and four months from the end of the shooting to the release is specified. In addition, the performer has the right to dissolve the contract unconditionally for one year after its release.



As for those who witnessed it live, this was by far the largest protest in scale to happen in the industry's history. Performers from the industry held up banners and placards in the pouring rain, chanting, "The law that was originally intended to protect performers is now putting them in a difficult situation.” Led by the local police, they demanded, "Protect freedom of expression and freedom of choice of profession! and recognize porn as content," while the veteran director Terry remained stood at the frontline and listened to their demands.


The New AV Law, which went into effect back in June 2022, requires the issuance of a contract, a one-month halt on filming after signing a contract, and a four-month halt on publicity after the end of filming. The purpose of this law is to prevent damage caused to rookies being subjected to perform in pornography without a full understanding of the circumstances, but with the latest protest, performers and producers involved in pornography have voiced their desire for revision because of the harmful effects. Since the laws made to protect AV actresses are, on the contrary, torturing them.


On a session with Japanese channel Abema, Hideki Makihara, a member of the House of Representatives who was involved in the legislative affairs of the House of Representatives of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), discussed the new AV Law.


The new AV law's review clause states that "provisions will be reviewed and necessary measures will be taken within two years after the enforcement of the law (by June 2024), taking into consideration the status of enforcement, etc." and "the nature of the clause limiting the period of publication of productions and special provisions regarding performance contracts, etc. will also be reviewed.”



However, he further explained that the Diet isn’t considering a review at this time. He went on to add, "When the age of adulthood is lowered to 18, the opposition parties have pointed out that it would be very difficult for the LDP to take responsibility if the right of revocation for minors is removed and damage occurs."


It is difficult to revise this law if people who advocated for it do not seek to alter it. Also, unlike bills submitted by the cabinet, legislation by lawmakers is based on unanimous consent by the ruling and opposition parties, and requires the action of more than 700 Diet members.


Noriya Usami, an institutional analyst who serves as an advisor to the 'Association for the Appropriateness of the AV Industry', and is a frequent Twitter user expressed his indignation, saying, "The 700 members of the Diet must have agreed to pass an article that says the law will be reviewed within two years of its enactment and necessary measures will be taken according to the situation, but not to review it is a dereliction of duty by the Diet members".


Mr. Usami sees the "hell loop" established in the industry the law as the reason for the haste. The most vulnerable ones are pushed into financial difficulties. Renowned actress' can expect to feature in JAVs on a regular basis, but small time or rookie performers and freelancers who are not exclusive to the producers must complete the cycle in a short amount of time. So if it takes five months to release a JAV, they lose a significant source of income in that time. They will then have no alternative but to work illegally or engage in activities abroad. The legislation is a match-pump system in which individuals who have lost their jobs are lured underground and incarcerated. This cannot be called an "achievement” for the lawmakers and it will not stop unless the law is reviewed.


The Current State Of JAV


Take for instance, the AV Appearance Damage Prevention and Relief Act of 2022 has changed the way JAV shoots are done. While actresses are not made to perform an act, sometimes an actress might get excited during a shoot and asks to use an adult toy to get her into the vibe, which is absolutely prohibited. For which, the director could even sue the actress later for breach of contract, so they are required to proceed according to the script.


Moreover, the state of the industry is such that well known manufacturers fear releasing parody JAVs in fear of getting sued. Take for instance the latest SOD JAV that took a jibe by impersonating a famous south korean female DJ, which didn’t sit well with her fans so they trolled the lead actress to the point that SOD had to remove the entire JAV off it's platform and partner sites that sold it. Then we'd Faleno Tube, a subsidiary of Japanese adult manufacturer Faleno that'd earlier released a JAV impersonating the Colabo boss, Yumeno Nito which again faced heat from her supporters and that JAV was initially taken down but you don't have to worry, since we've got you covered. You can check out the JAV here. Not just this parody JAV, but we've extensive genres of DRM free JAVs that you can browse from our library, updated daily. So, I believe these are more than sufficient examples of how both manufacturers and performer in the JAV fraternity are exploited, since the law was enacted.


A Peek Inside The Mind Of The Protesters


Former JAV actress Saiko Yatsuhashi who marched alongside Terry Ito said in an interview to Nikkan News, "It was meaningful that both men and women could see (the march). From the standpoint of freedom of expression and freedom of choice of profession, it is a problem that this kind of law can be enacted without permission.”


"I used to work at an adult film store, and if the adult film industry disappears, the jobs of those who are not in it will disappear as well. I tried to find a job in the general profession, but I couldn't adapt to it, and the AV industry accepted me. I've been doing it for about four years now and it's my purpose in life. I don't want it to disappear. If someone doesn't speak up, nothing will change.” said Ichika Mogami


AV director and founder of the 'Association for the Appropriateness of the AV Industry,' Hitoshi Futamura who was the brainchild behind the event, said, "I have been working in the industry for about 35 years. My job is to shoot naughty things in the studio, but I can't believe I'm demonstrating in the middle of Ginza during the daytime. This is a human rights issue, and I want those who enjoy porn and those who think it has nothing to do with them to understand that I am protecting the dignity of each and every human being associated with the industry, and that one day they might be suddenly deprived of their income."



When interviewed after the demonstration, veteran director Terry Ito said, "The law was created without scrutiny. After it went into effect, it has had harmful effects. These individuals can't work and really don't have any income. They are treading on the edge. These women are competing with their bodies; porn is a noble profession. I want to help them," he said, speaking for the actresses.


Further citing the example of Prohibition, the evil law of the century that was once enforced in the U.S., he said, "Liquor was banned and the mafia created a black market empire The one-month rule has its advantages, such as allowing new actresses to consider appearing in films, but it also has its disadvantages, such as it's not just the girls, it's the staff, too. Not only the girls, but also the staff are out of work. We would like to make our voices heard to the members of the Diet, regardless of whether they are from the ruling or opposition parties.”


Mature hottie, Maiko Ayase who led the demonstration, got emotional "Why is a right that is taken for granted not recognized only in this profession? What does it mean to be tied up like this even though I can’t be doing a normal job because I can't announce it immediately after my debut? The profession that I jumped in because I longed to become an AV actress. I think it would be better to be recognized more."



JAV actor Shimiken sat down with ABEMA to discuss the issues surrounding the law, "It is people who are not in the right kind of porn who cause problems. I have been in the industry for a long time, but sometimes the people who get arrested are people I have never met or seen before, so I want a distinction to be made between proper AV and doujin AV."


"Manufacturers not only have more legal work, but also fewer shootings, and with a five-month period, they cannot predict what will sell. Major makers can survive, but small and medium-sized makers with no strength will go out of business”, he added.


What about the actual situation on the ground? Shimiken replied, "I think it is a good thing that the one-month rule has given us time to think, although there is a lot of filming to be done. Many of the actresses who appear in the film are not compelled to do so, but after the film is released, their living environment changes, and they often withdraw the film with regret. I think the fact that the law allows them to withdraw their films immediately will give them a chance to perform without worry," he stated.


The male actor also pointed out drawback regarding the law. In case, a performer is suffering from poor health two or three days before a shoot, he could just ask for a replacement, but now that’s not the case just ‘cause a replacement has not signed a contract beforehand, so the performer has to pop a pill and continue the shoot.


What Measures Are Being Taken?


Regarding the specific details of the amendment, Noriya Usami agreed with the proposal of Senator Satoshi Hamada by tweeting a Change.org petition link demanding certain revisions to the law. He called for a change in the name of the law by dropping the term ‘damage’ from it, flexibility in the ‘one to four month rule’, and a survey of the industry by the government. The petition has since collected more than 22.5k signatures of the remaining 25k at the time of writing this column.



To solidify their demands, an actress stated, "I do it of my own will, but I am seen as a victim. The one-month rule works well when an actress has a change of mind, but it is a problem when it comes to replacements. The four-month period between filming and release is also too long, and needs to be made a little shorter and more flexible. In addition, neither the government nor lawmakers have a clear understanding of the realities of the industry". They listen to the victims, but not to the manufacturers. For instance, she mentioned that it has been reported that only 2 to 3% of the revenue goes to the performers, and demanded it should be investigated by the agencies.


How likely are these initiatives to be implemented? Councilor Makihara added, "First, we dared to call it the 'AV Appearance Damage Prevention and Relief Act' because we were concerned about making it legal to film sexual acts. The second one, one to four months, is undoubtedly not well supported. The third is that the Cabinet Office passed the measure but lacks jurisdiction over it. "I can't think of anyone right now who would be in charge of determining the actual situation," he said.


Mr. Usami said, "In the end, I really want to say something. The new AV law has rattled that relationship of trust, and that framework is now in jeopardy unless the government steps in. I hope that the review of this law will be an opportunity to create a mechanism for the industry to follow the rules," he appealed.


In response, Councilor Makihara responded, "If the framework of self-regulation is crumbling, I think there are aspects that should be restored, so I would like to bring this back."


What Lies Ahead For The JAV Fraternity?


Two years after it took effect, in June 2024, the new AV law is set to be reviewed this upcoming June. First, The legislators who drafted the law specify that sexually explicit videos must be published "within x years," and second that they take into account the types of contracts that involve the actual filming of sexual activity, or "productions."


However, the meeting's sponsor, the "Association for the Appropriateness of the AV Industry," did a survey highlighting how overly restrictive measures, like the "one-month and four-month rule" hinder a range of work practices and infringe upon the right to "freedom of business" as guaranteed by Article 22 of Japan's Constitution's 'Freedom of choice of occupation' clause.


Meanwhile, actress' are leaving the profession for unofficial productions, there are fewer productions, and there are less positions available for aspiring and mid-career women. The group also suggested removing the term "damage" from the articles of the law and reducing the one-month and four-month rules if the performers so choose.


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