Zion Sono. Japanese filmmaker accused of sexual abuse

Several actresses have accused the controversial Japanese filmmaker Zion Sono of harassing and trying to take sexual license with “most of (his) female leads” for years, according to an article by Shukan Josei Prime.

The portal published a long article on Monday in which, anonymously, several women linked to the Japanese entertainment industry accused Sono (Toyokawa, 1961) of having committed indecent proposals, overtaking and even an attempted rape which allegedly took place ten years ago.

A day later, while several Anglo-Saxon specialized media echoed the accusations, the Japanese Milla Araki, who defines herself as a fashion designer and former actress, shared one of the posts on the social network Twitter with the message: “It’s not just sexual harassment, it’s much more, he assaulted me. Yes, I am one of the victims.”

In a post that was maintained today on the main page of the website of his production company, Sion Production, Sono apologized for the inconvenience caused by the revelations, writing, “I am sorry for the lack of consideration I have had for the people around me, and I would like to remedy that from now on.”

However, the filmmaker denied the accusations, stressing that the information in the article “differs from the facts” and that he will take “appropriate measures” through his representative.

Sono’s predatory behavior towards women has been well known to Japanese filmmakers for years, but none have dared to speak out for fear of backlash and ostracism. Yuki Matsuzaki in a Twitter thread in which he addresses the silence of the Japanese industry.

The actor shares testimonies on networks of women who say they have suffered harassment from the filmmaker or have listened to warnings about his behavior for years.

The charges against Sono come a month after several women made similar allegations against another prominent Japanese filmmaker, hideo sakaki (Goto, 1970), in Shukan Bunshun magazine, and against the actor Houka Kinoshita (Dato, 1964).

According to the women, who also take refuge in anonymity, both allegedly abused their position to go too far and force them to having sex in exchange for promises about the future of their careers.

Sakaki has admitted to having sex with some of them, but says they were consensual.

These revelations led dozens of Japanese industry professionals, including names like directors Hirokazu Kore-eda and Miwa Nishikawa, to sign a manifesto against these abuses.

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