FOCUS: Abuse of Female Athlete Images Remains Rife in Japan


Tokyo, July 8 (Jiji Press)--Sexually suggestive photographs and videos of female athletes taken surreptitiously during competition in Japan have been circulating on the internet, with no sign of letting up.

In the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, police have started taking action against such abuse of athlete images, while sporting organizations have also launched countermeasures. But laws and regulations are still behind the curve.

On the internet, numerous photographs and videos of female athletes are being posted along with notes such as "erotic sports images" and "bloopers on TV."

"This is a problem that has existed from old times. The wider use of smartphones has made it easy to take such shots. As it is also no trouble to spread (them) on the internet, the damage is now very serious," Akio Ishii, manager of the planning department of the Japan Association of Athletic Federations, said.

Such harassment via exploitative images reared its ugly head when multiple women reported damage to the association and sought advice last year. Seven sporting organizations, including the Japanese Olympic Committee, issued a joint statement in November stressing the need for preventive efforts.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press