×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Prosecutors Seek Five-Year Jail Term for Actor Hirofumi Arai on Rape Charges

Japanese prosecutors in the rape case against Hirofumi Arai have asked for a five-year prison sentence for the actor. They made the request was made at a public hearing Wednesday in the Tokyo District Court.

Arai has pleaded innocent to charges that he sexually assaulted a woman sent to his residence from a massage service on July 1, 2018.

In its statement to the court, the prosecution contended that the victim was in “extreme physical and emotional distress” and that Arai’s payment of money after the encounter indicated “his full recognition that the woman was opposed to his desire.”

In his testimony, Arai has denied that the woman resisted his advances or that he used threats or violence.

Japanese courts have very high conviction rates. The verdict will be announced Dec. 2.

Born Kyung-Sik Park in Hirosaki, in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture, in 1979, Arai is a third-generation ethnic Korean. After debuting in “Go,” Isao Yukisada’s 2001 drama about an ethnic Korean boy, Arai became in-demand for both TV and film roles, while winning honors that included a best new actor award at the Takasaki Film Festival for his turn as a delinquent teen in Toshiaki Toyoda’s 2002 “Blue Spring.”

After Arai’s arrest, public broadcaster NHK halted sales of 10 programs in which he was involved, including the 2015 mystery drama “64.” But the producers of Masahide Ichii’s “Typhoon Family,” in which Arai plays the son of parents who rob a bank and vanish with the money, did not re-shoot his scenes prior to the film’s June 2019 release.

Popular on Variety

Arai appeared at the opening ceremony of the 28th TIFF in 2015 as a star in the Koji Fukada sci-fi drama “Sayonara.” He also attended the 27th TIFF in support of the Masaharu Take boxing film “100 Yen Love.”

More Film

  • Australia' s Oscar contender BuoyancyC

    Rod Rathjen on Why Human Trafficking Tale 'Buoyancy' Had to be Made as Fiction

    Australian Rod Rathjen’s first film as director, “Buoyancy” is a powerful dramatization of human trafficking within Thailand’s offshore fishing fleet. Shot largely in Khmer and Thai, and selected as Australia’s foreign-language Oscar contender, it may also be a role model for cultural sensitivity and activism. The film plays this week in competition at the International [...]

  • Bong Joon Ho Talks 'Parasite' on

    'Parasite' Director Bong Joon Ho Makes Late Night Debut Following Three Globe Nominations

    “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho sat down for his first U.S. late-night appearance on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” Monday night. The director, who received best director and best original screenplay Globen Globe nominations with co-writer Han Jin Won, plus a best foreign language nod Monday morning, did not give much away about the film’s [...]

  • The Cold Blue

    Erik Nelson Wants to Preserve the Past With 'The Cold Blue' World War II Documentary

    Erik Nelson describes his documentary “The Cold Blue” as “the garage band of movies” — he didn’t have the large team or crew other documentary contenders have. “The Cold Blue” is a World War II documentary that looks at raids and B-17 bombing missions that took place during the war. Nelson’s team looked at 34 [...]

  • Ray Manzarek

    Film News Roundup: Concert-Documentary 'The Doors: Break on Thru' Set for February

    In today’s film news roundup, one-night showings of a Ray Manzarek tribute and the season premiere of “Doctor Who” have been set for 2020, and the MPAA hires a copyright expert. ONE-NIGHT SHOWINGS The Doors and Trafalgar Releasing are teaming on the worldwide Feb. 12 release of “The Doors: Break on Thru – A Celebration [...]

  • Richard Jewell

    Warner Bros. Hits Back at Atlanta Paper Over 'Richard Jewell' Legal Threat

    Warner Bros. is standing behind “Richard Jewell,” the Clint Eastwood drama that is the source of controversy over its portrayal of a female journalist trading sex for scoops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution sent a legal threat to the filmmakers on Monday asking them to include a disclaimer noting that the film took dramatic license. In a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content