AKB48 Idol Tomomi Kasai's Photo Book Cancelled
The official website for Kodansha's Young Magazine announced on Thursday that AKB48 idol Tomomi Kasai's photo collection has been cancelled. The magazine's editors apologized for the cancellation of people's orders and thanked them for their understanding. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun paper, the possibility of a different photo collection for Kasai is being explored.
As recently as Monday, the magazine was advertising the "Tomomi Kasai First Solo Photo Collection Tomo no Koto, Suki?" [Do You Love Tomo?] book on its cover with an "early February" release date. The latest issue of the magazine was delayed and then revised to remove an "inappropriate" photo of Kasai.
Asahi, Sankei, and other news organizations reported on Friday that Kodansha is under investigation by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department for possible child pornography charges due to the book and its promotion in Young Magazine. Masaaki Hiruma, a media commentator with experience in editing weekly magazines, projected that the incident will cost Kodansha more than 300 million yen (about US$3.4 million) for just revising and reprinting the magazine issue alone. (Hiruma's estimate does not include the cost of cancelling the photo book entirely.)