A former member of the idol group Niji No Conquistador is suing the current president of Japanese social media site Pixiv for damages from sexual harassment, according to reports in the Japanese media.
Buzzfeed Japan interviewed the performer (whose identity has been protected at this time) and shared the story Sunday. It is the latest in a series of women in the entertainment industry stepping up to discuss sexual harassment as the nation’s own #metoo movement tries to take off.
According to the Buzzfeed report, the former Niji No Conquistador member (referred to as “A” throughout the story) alleges that the current president of Pixiv, Hiroyuki Nagata, sexually harassed her multiple times during her career in the group. Niji No Conquistador formed in 2014 as part of a music project spearheaded by Pixiv, meaning the company had heavy involvement in all of their activities.
A says that, on a work trip to Kyoto, Nagata accompanied her because she was originally planning to go alone. The two shared a room, and A says she had to sleep right next Nagata, who was extremely close to her. This made her feel uneasy, but she says she didn’t say anything because she worried it would impact her career.
Later, A says Nagata offered her part time work to supplement her monthly idol pay (about $361 AUS) by giving him full body massages, after she originally asked to get an outside part-time job (Nagata reportedly shot down this request). Although A says she didn’t want to do it, she believed she needed to earn more money.
A also says that, earlier this year, Nagata invited her to stay at his condominium with his wife and children in Tokyo rather than at a hotel or member dorm ahead of a special live event. A says she noticed what appeared to be a hidden camera in a changing room in his home. She says the camera changed location over the duration of her stay.
Nagata has admitted to the Kyoto trip and the massage job, but denies the hidden cameras.
A says these experiences — especially her time at Nagata’s home — left her shaken. When she returned home to take a college admissions test, she couldn’t focus, and her weight dropped significantly. She says when Nagata messaged her on the application LINE wishing her luck on the test, she vomited due to the memory of what she experienced. She did not go to the testing center as a result.
Buzzfeed tried to interview Nagata, but their request was turned down.
A says the #metoo movement, which is fledgling but slowly gaining in attention in Japan, inspired her to say something about her experiences.
Stay tuned for updates in the future.
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