The Rape Scandal That Wasn’t


Police in Osaka yesterday arrested a woman on libel charges after she posted a false rape allegation against comedian Yamane Yoshiaki (35, photo left) on the internet. Kawamoto Junko (33), a self-described part-time worker from Kobe, filed a criminal complaint with police at the Yodogawa station last August saying she had been raped, and posted the details on a bulletin board in September. Management for Yamane in turn sued the woman for libel at the Osaka District Court. Yodogawa police reported their findings to the court earlier this month, saying they found no evidence to support the claim.

Yamane is the “boke” half of the comedy duo Ungirls, whose selling point point is their gangly awkwardness. They made their TV breakthrough in 2004, leading to the creation of the term “kimokawaii” (gross cute). Management for the duo said of the libel case, “It has been proved that there was not a shred of evidence to question (Yamane’s) legal liability.”