Family seeks damages over suicide of Japanese 'farming idol'
Japan Today -- Oct 13
The family of a pop group member promoting agriculture in western Japan who hanged herself in March sued officials of her talent agency for damages on Friday, claiming their harassment and overwork caused her death.

In the suit filed with the Matsuyama District Court, the family of Honoka Omoto, 16, who was a member of Ehime Prefecture-based idol group Enoha Girls, is seeking a combined 92 million yen from the president and three others at the agency.

"We want the company to speak about (what happened) as it is, without bending (the truth)," said Omoto's mother Yukie, 42, at a press conference.

Takahiro Sasaki, the president of the agency H Project, told reporters he feels responsible for being unable to save Omoto but added, "Some parts of the claims by the bereaved family are not true."

Omoto joined the agency in July 2015 and had worked at events for more than 10 hours a day, including early and late hours, since around last year, according to the family. Enoha Girls are engaged in farming in addition to show business work.

After finding it difficult to balance her work and student life, the family said Omoto conveyed her intention to leave the idol group to the company, but was met with abusive responses, including a smartphone app message that said, "Seriously, I will hit you if you mention such nonsense again."

今年3月、アイドルをしていた16歳の少女が自ら命を絶ちました。家族は、なぜ彼女が亡くなってしまったのか、そこに事務所のパワハラがあったのではないかと損害賠償を求め、訴訟を起こすことを決めました。 明るい笑顔で人々に元気を与えるはずのアイドルが、自ら死を選びました。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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