IKUMI YOSHIMATSU 吉松育美 - Miss International 2012's Fight for Survival

Miss International of 2012, Ikumi Yoshimatsu has been quietly fighting a year long battle against some very powerful people. While the problem with media coverage of everything is you never quite get the entire story, I think The Independent does a good job of summing things up with this headline:

"Miss Japan Ikumi Yoshimatsu joins battle against mafia in the media"

Ms. Yoshimatsu did not want to sign with a powerful talent agency. An executive in that agency won't take no for an answer. And what followed was a year of threats, harassment, and fear for Ms. Yoshimatsu and her family. For more details on the incidents themselves and her decision to file criminal and civil charges click this link here 

IKUMI YOSHIMATSU 吉松育美  Image Description a  young Japanese woman with long dark hair tearful and raising a hand to her face  while seated in front of a microphone.
Ms. Yoshimatsu is now in hiding. Going public with her plight has cost her everything.

Here she is at her last public appearance, a press conference at the foreign press club in December where she tearfully related her ordeal, the unwillingness of the police to help and her plea that the foreign press bring the events to light: click here.

Whether you believe Ms. Yoshimatsu's story or not, the implications of her stand against her bullies, despite their power and  their alleged connections with the Yakuza shows incredible courage. Her fight to change laws to improve the protection of women from stalkers that kill or drive their victims to suicide is a valiant one. Beyond this is bringing to light a practice that is known and shameful in Japan and Asia. In one moment Ms. Yoshimatsu began an overdue conversation about the entertainment industry in Asia. It is sad and disturbing that anyone has to suffer to make this national conversation happen.

Ms. Yoshimatsu also brings up the topic of pressure to be silent regarding harassment and stalking. How horrible it must be for victims in Japan. Something has to change to better the lives of Japanese women and any talented person in Japan before they are victims.


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