On June 5th, Hong Kong newspaper Wen Wei Po ran a story claiming Japanese adult video star Anri Suzuki wants to have sex with Chinese students in Japan as compensation for Japan’s invasion of China in 1937 which led to the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Rape of Nanking. The reporter attributed the story to “Taiwan media reports” but was apparently fooled by a forum post by someone going by the handle “Sniper”. On June 9th, realizing the mistake, he wrote a retraction; but the damage had already been done. The story had quickly spread throughout Asia in multiple languages, and retractions are not typically translated as quickly as sensational news about sex.
In Japan, however, the story was shot down almost immediately. Suzuki posted an in-depth blog entry in which she refuted the claims made in the article one by one. For instance, she’s never even been to Taiwan and has certainly never given any interviews there. The fake article also states that Suzuki has a doctorate in Sino-Japanese history. However, Suzuki points out that she’s a high school graduate and has never even attended university, let alone earned a doctorate. The only part of the story she seems to agree with is the fact that she’s appeared in adult videos.
Given the nature of the hoax-inspired article, it was inevitable that it would eventually catch on with the western media as an oddball “wacky Japan” story. A few days ago, The Sun ran with it, complete with skimpy swimsuit pics and scandalous quote translations. Since then, it’s been spreading to other news sites. with most conscientious reporters sourcing The Korea Times, which was apparently the first foreign paper to translate the bogus story to English for western consumption. So far, only Japan Probe and a few reddit.com members have posted anything refuting the story in English, but that hasn’t slowed it down much. If anything, it’s picked up steam.
The moral of the story? Check your sources. If something seems completely stupid and made up, it probably is.
P.S. My sincere apologies to any Chinese students whose hopes have been dashed.