K urumin Aroma felt like her life was over at just Fast forward eight years and Aroma looks back at the episode with crushing regret. But she is determined to weaponize the ensuing trauma to help stop others from becoming, like her, one of the hundreds of young Japanese women coerced into pornography by tricksters masquerading as legitimate modeling agents. The coercion of young women into pornography and prostitution has become an epidemic in Japan, where the fetishization of adolescence is disturbingly common and legal protections for children shockingly lax. Ten years ago most of those she helped came from abroad, but today the bulk of cases that come before her charity comprise teenage runaways and abuse victims from Japan. Although officially illegal, Japan has a booming sex industry due to numerous loopholes.
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Finding time for romance in Japan can sometimes be a difficult task. Many secondary schools prohibit their students from dating, under the logic that doing so keeps them focused on their studies. In college, most social interactions are centered around group activities with members of the same extracurricular clubs or research teams.
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But months later, the year-old became one of an alarming number of Japanese women who say they have been forced into appearing in pornographic films by unscrupulous, and unregulated, production companies. Then in her final year at university, Aroma agreed to attend a follow-up interview, where the president of an entertainment production company presented her with a contract that indicated she would be required to remove her clothes for a photo shoot. Faced with repeated demands from as many as eight male staff, she eventually capitulated. A slew of reports about women being offered modelling contracts, only to be tricked or coerced into appearing in X-rated films, has finally prompted authorities in Japan to confront the darker side of its multibillion dollar porn industry.