Can you imagine not only being forbidden to fall in love, but getting sued for it as well?
In 2016, a court in Tokyo ruled in favor of a 23-year old Japanese singer after her own company sued her for being in a relationship with a fan. They claimed that this went against the “no dating clause” in her contract which she signed in 2012.
The judge, however, disagreed with the company. Katsuya Hara stated that “relationships are a right” and therefore sided with the J-Pop idol. He threw out their claim of ¥9.9 million (around $66,400 USD) as a result.
We must acknowledge that forbidding pop idols to date by claiming compensation for damages goes too far. Relationships are a right exercised by an individual to enrich life. They are part of the freedom to pursue happiness.
— Katsuya Hara, the chief judge of the Tokyo District Court
Reporters believe that the idol in question is from Aoyama Saint Hachamecha High School, a seven member J-Pop group who was managed by MovingFactory from 2012 to 2015.
In 2014, the company accused members Miho Yuki and Sena Miura of “betraying” the group by choosing to be in relationships, discrediting their public claims of leaving due to illness. In reality, they fired the girls and proceeded to sue for damages.
They have betrayed the members of the group and all their fans.
This is not the first time J-Pop idols have been demonized for finding themselves in relationships. In 2013, a member of popular J-Pop group AKB48, Minegishi Minami, went viral around the world after she shaved her hair and uploaded a tearful apology video—all because she was caught leaving the house of her then-boyfriend.
Similarly, a 17-year old member of J-Pop group DokiDoki was ordered by Tokyo District Court Judge Akimoto Kojima to pay ¥650,000 (around $4,400 USD) to her ex-company after a photo of her with a man in a hotel room was leaked. The judge claimed that it was necessary for idols to appear single in order to secure male fans and thus financial support for the group.
In order to secure the financial support of male fans, a clause prohibiting relationships was necessary
— Akimoto Kojima, Tokyo District Court Judge