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Monday, October 6, 2014

News in Japan - ( Japanese Pop Idol Members charged 8 Million yen For Dating Fans / Be Nice To Foreigners Sign in Japanese Stadium )

Pop idols’ management demands Y8 million in damages after two members caught dating fans

by Japan today

It’s a long-standing rule in the pop idol industry in Japan: performers should never become involved in romantic relationships. Doing so would, apparently, tarnish the reputations carefully designed to make these entertainers appear “accessible,” reducing them to the status of “regular people.” And that’s no life for an idol.
We’ve seen this rule lead to instances of head-shaving and weird YouTubers before in Japan. However, one idol management company is taking this rule to a new level and demanding compensation for damages as a result of performers fraternizing with fans–to the order of 8 million yen.
In April, two members of the unit Aoyama☆St. Hacha Mecha High School (St. Crazy Wild High School), or Mecha High (Crazy High) for short, left the group unexpectedly. Afterwards at an event the group’s producer explained the reason for their disappearance was a “serious breach of contract.”
He added that Miho Yuki (19) and Sena Miura (22) had gone on dates with fans. Later on, the management company told media that a contract was signed by their legal guardians stating that they would “not become romantically involved with fans.”
As a result of this alleged breach of contract the company has sent letters to all parties involved: the two former members, their legal guardians, and the fans. These notices are demanding compensation to the tune of 8,232,400 yen from the fans according to reports.
Online reaction felt that the company must be mecha high for thinking they can get money from fans who had never signed any contract promising not to get involved with the idols. Many also commented that since it was the legal guardians who signed the contract it was their responsibility to uphold it. Therefore the girls themselves should also not be demanded money from.
However, it seems telling that the management company hasn’t filed any lawsuits with the courts yet. Perhaps a contract forbidding a fundamental part of life like interpersonal relationships would not hold up in a court of law, so instead they went with the intimidating letter route.
We’ll just have to wait and see if they do take it to the courts, because it seems pretty hard to believe any of these people would or could give up eight million yen without a fight. Until then, one thing is certain: This is truly a Hacha Mecha High School. "



Be nice to foreigners

A sign in Omiya, Saitama pleading for the Japanese soccer fans of the Omiya Ardija J.League team to be nice to foreigners.




Man arrested for poisoning over 40 cats in Tokyo's Ota Ward

Police in Tokyo’s Ota Ward said Friday they have arrested a 33-year-old man in connection with over 40 dead cats found in the ward since April.
NTV reported that the suspect, identified as Shinya Kuboki, was arrested for strangling a cat in a parking lot in Omorinishi early Thursday morning. When questioned by police, Kuboki admitted that he had four other dead cats in the basket on the front of his bicycle.
Police said Kuboki, who is a computer programmer, has admitted to killing about 45 cats in the ward. He said he laced cat food with a pesticide.
The cats were found dead in parks and on streets between April and Aug 18. In some cases, the cats had some kind of foaming drooling from the mouth. Some of the cats were residents’ pets, but most were strays.
All the cats were found dead within a 500-meter radius between Omorinishi 6-chome and Kamata 2-chome. Cat food was found beside beside the bodies.
Kuboki was quoted by police as saying that he likes cats but he got really irritated by local residents feeding stray cats and wanted to keep their population down, NTV reported. He also has a pet cat at home.
Police said Kuboki has been charged with violating the animal protection law."



The ugly truth of 'gokon,' Japan’s group blind dates

By Cara Clegg of Japan today

"Japanese “gokon” (organized group dates) are a mixed bag – sometimes they’re a whole lot of fun, and other times they’re a downright uncomfortable experience. For Japanese women wanting to reduce their risk of having a terrible time, one magazine has put together a list of the top companies to avoid when it comes to lecherous guys at their drinking parties.

What is ‘gokon’?
Gokon are drinking parties where men and women can meet, get drunk, and get to know each other. The name comes from the Japanese words “godo” for “mixed” or “combination” and “konpa” which means an informal group meeting. It’s kind of like a group blind date as the aim is generally to find a potential partner, either just for the night or for the long haul.
This kind of activity is a fixture in Japanese society starting with university, where clubs (sometimes called ‘circles’) will go on gokon together so that guys and girls can mingle. The practice continues in the working world where, with Japan’s rigorous work culture, time to meet potential dates is limited. Typically a single guy and girl who know each other will invite their coworkers as well as friends from other companies so that the end result is that most people at the gokon don’t know each other, and the rest stagger home alone. The men and women sit opposite each other, and once the drink is flowing the conversation gets rowdier, until the end of the night when those who want to pair off do so. Despite the hangovers and regrets of the next morning, for many couples it can be the start of something beautiful!
Hidden dangers: pressure and harassment
However, gokon can sometimes get out of hand, as with the incident this year with a tennis circle at Meiji University where several girls ended up in alcoholic comas on the streets of Shinjuku.
While plenty of these group dates are fun and friendly affairs, where the worst that happens is awkward morning-after LINE conversations reminding each other of terrible karaoke, women do have to look out for themselves. With a bit of alcohol in their system some men can turn gropey and forceful, or when a gokon is arranged by a group of men who all know each other there’s the chance that they’ll work together to pressure the girls into drinking more than they should.

The weekly magazine SPA! asked 300 regular working women aged 22 to 34 about their experiences with gokon, and many of them had had uncomfortable experiences particularly with being forced to drink to excess, being pressured to participate in drinking games, and suffering unwanted sexual advances. Things can get dangerous, as one woman recalled witnessing a man “pretending to look after a completely drunk girl while groping her breasts”, and another certain that she had been slipped something in her drink.
From their survey, the magazine put together this list of the top 5 worst companies or industries for pushy goukon guys. Here they are, along with some quotes from the women interviewed on their experiences of group dates with men from said companies.
1. Marubeni Corporation (general trading company)
“When I refused to down my drink, they blew up at me.” (24, travel agent)
“It was at a gokon where it was taken as a given that you would go home with them.” (33, finance)
2. Itochu Corporation (general trading company)
“They’d chosen a dimly lit place and were totally handsy.” (25, apparel)
“The guys conspired together to get us black out drunk, it was scary.” (31, finance)
3. Doctors
“They got their target girls dead drunk and then harassed them.” (23, SE)
“A guy followed me to the toilets and suddenly kissed me.” (22, dispatch worker)
4. Goldman Sachs (investment banking)
“Even though he was Japanese, he kept shouting angrily in English, I was scared.” (33, IT)
“They started an ‘Osama’ game (type of drinking game with penalties). (24, cabin crew)
5. NTT East Japan (telecommunications)
“They were all super pushy and the conversation was nothing but dirty jokes.” (33, retail)
“As a group they egged us on to down our drinks, and they were nasty drunks.” (30, finance)
Of course, as the aim is to drink and hit it off with someone, a certain amount of lewd jokes and drinking games are to be expected. However, as we can see from the quotes above, there are times when things are taken too far to the point of making women feel very uncomfortable, or even putting them in danger.
The results were drawn from a sample of just 300 women, so take it with a pinch of salt and don’t let it put you off the idea of gokon altogether. However, do keep the dangers in mind, do everything you can to stay safe, and leave at once if things are going in a direction you’re not happy with. The only sort of thing you should find yourself worrying about is whether anyone filmed that terrible rendition of “Let It Go” (the answer is yes, and it’ll probably be on the work LINE group by tomorrow morning). "

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