Female councillors demand Miyagi governor scrap ‘suggestive’ tourism video

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 July, 2017, 4:13pm

Seven female members of the Miyagi prefectural assembly on Friday asked the governor of the northeastern Japan prefecture to remove a tourism promotion video it is using on the internet, claiming it portrays women as sex objects.

The video, featuring a well-known model and actress in a kimono, showcases attractions and tourist spots in the prefecture but also contains some sexually suggestive scenes, including one in which the camera zooms in on her parting lips.

The video uploaded on YouTube has been viewed over 1.7 million times.

The prefectural government told the assemblywomen on Friday that it has no intention of complying with their request.

“We will keep the video streamed because we have received positive reactions, too, but I will duly convey your opinion to the governor,” Deputy Governor Akiyoshi Kawabata said.

In a letter submitted to the deputy governor, the assemblywomen, who belong to a group affiliated with the Democratic Party and to the Japanese Communist Party, protested that “the video, made with money earmarked for reconstruction (after the March 2011 tsunami), will not convince people elsewhere in the country to visit Miyagi.”

The video was created by the prefectural government and East Japan Railway Company.

Governor Yoshihiro Murai told a news conference earlier this month that the mixed reviews for the video showed the promotional campaign had been successful.

“It is regrettable our request was not accepted,” said Miyuki Amashita, a Japanese Communist Party assemblywoman, adding that the video was the wrong way to promote the rich nature and culture that Miyagi has to offer.