A 17-year-old girl was ordered by the court to pay 650,000 JPY (5420 USD) for violating the contract not to date with a man.
The Asahi Shimbun: Court strikes sour note against female idol who broke no-dating rule
The issued girl belonged to "dokidoki," an idol group established just in July 2013. She was 15-year-old when she went to a hotel with her boyfriend. The fact was revealed soon, and the management company decided to disband dokidoki in October.
The management company had made a contract with the members of dokidoki in which the members were restricted from making an intimate relationship with a particular person. This type of contract is common in Japan, not to break the dream of the fans. In this case, the girl's behavior violating the contract did damage to the reputation of dokidoki leading to the disbanding, according to the company.
The court acknowledged that a prohibition on dating was necessary to obtain support from male fans, and approved the claim of the company partially. The girl and her parents were forced to compensate the damage.
This case includes some point of discussion.
Firstly, is it legal to prohibit falling in love? Of course, not. Loving someone is a human right. However, what is disputed is that the fact the girl was dating was publicized. If she had continued a sexual relationship secretly to the public, the company would have not been damaged at all. She was responsible for the damage to the company because the dating was revealed.
Secondly, the contract of prohibiting love can be substantially invalid. Many other companies also demand the idols not to make an intimate. But few adhere the regulation. The girl insisted that this contract was broadly ignored in the idol industry.
I think the contract is the contract. Therefore, the claim of the girl is irrational. On the other hand, there are many other regulations hardly to adhere in Japan. The authority can easily interpret some regulations arbitrarily. It is an issue normalized in Japan.
The third issue about this court decision is that the girl is under 18. Is it feasible to make a nonage person to understand the meaning of this contract and adhere it? In this case, her parents were also sued. They should be responsible for this incident she caused. On the other hand, if she had been an adult, she would have needed to read the content of the contract carefully, and perhaps reject it.
Finally, not limited in this case, Japanese idols are often deemed as a symbol of virginity. It is long lasting culture. To be honest, I am indifferent to the behavior of idol girls. But juvenile people tend to act a reckless behavior. It should be permitted to some extent, because it was the way we walked through. I think some people want the fantastic pureness in the idols. It may be the core of this issue.