Porn star to be featured on Taiwan travel cards to ‘cheer commuters up’

Commuters in Taiwan will start using prepaid travel cards featuring a photo of a Japanese porn actor from Tuesday, despite protests from politicians and parents.

Yui Hatano, one of Asia’s most popular adult movie actors, will appear on limited-edition series two cards, which can be used on the metro and bus networks and at convenience stores in the capital Taipei.

The distributor, EasyCard, said it would go ahead with the September 1 release of the “devil” edition of the card – even though it is considered the more risqué of the two designs.

The company had earlier suggested it would halt production of all of the cards after complaints that they were inappropriate for children.

The firm said it would redesign the “angel” edition cards in which Hatano is dressed in white, after hearing “input from various parties” and put them on sale in the middle of the month.

The redesign came after it was pointed out that the image had previously been used in Japan to promote one of Hatano’s movies.

Though neither card features pornographic images, the “devil” edition shows Hatano wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress and directing what some have described as a “sultry” look at the camera.

Taipei’s mayor, Ko Wen-je, said he could not understand what had motivated EasyCard’s new chairman, Tai Chi-chuan, to “make that kind of business judgement”.

The Want China Times news website quoted EasyCard as saying Hatano was trying to change her image, adding that the cards would “cheer up” commuters.

The cards conveyed a “fresh, healthy and beautiful” image and any suggestion they were lewd was unfair to Hatano, the spokeswoman, Lin Hsiao-chi said. “This set of cards is suitable to put in your wallet and collect. When you look at it, it will cheer you up.”

Even so, most convenience stores in Taipei, including 7-Eleven and FamilyMart, have said they will not sell the cards because of differing views among their customers.

Proceeds from sales of the cards will be donated to charity.

Hatano responded to the outcry by claiming she only wanted to show her appreciation to her many fans in Taiwan, although as many as three-quarters of EasyCard users are women, according to Taiwanese media.

“Just because I am an adult video porn star … does it mean that I cannot pay a debt of gratitude to my beloved Taiwan?” Hatano was quoted as saying by the Focus Taiwan website.

The 27-year-old, whose films include A Nurse’s Confession and Immoral Trip on a Sleeper Train, was recently ranked the ninth most popular porn star in Asia, according to the erotic video website Xvideos.com.

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Justin Mccurry
Justin Mccurry works from Tokyo. Japan & Korea correspondent for the Guardian & Observer; France 24 TV. Foreign Press in Japan rep. Wolves & England cricket fan. 競輪の大ファン。 Justin Mccurry has over 11608 followers on Twitter.

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