World

Taipei mayor changes his mind: No Japanese porn star on transport cards

Fancy a Japanese porn star's picture on your EZ-Link card?

It was slated to happen for the Taiwanese when it was announced last week that pictures of Yui Hatano, star of films such as Surprising Sexual Technique and Female Teacher With Glasses, were going to grace their transport card, the EasyCard.

These EasyCards were supposed to go on sale today (Sept 1).

But due to the public outcry that followed last week's announcement, with some convenience stores protesting the sale of these cards at their premises, Taipei mayor Ko Wen-je made the sudden decision on Monday (Aug 31) to stop the printing and public sale of these EasyCards.

According to AsiaOne, Mr Ko told Taiwanese media that the limited-edition series of covers named Angel and Demon were not appropriate for sale.

This reversal comes as a surprise following his initial take on the EasyCards last Friday (Aug 28).

Then, he had told Taiwanese media that it was up to the EasyCard's chairman and board of directors to make the decision on what they wanted to place on the covers of their EasyCards.

Yesterday, he admitted that he regretted side-stepping the controversy.

Of the error in his judgment, he said: "If you want to buy tapes and bring them home to watch, that is your own call.

"But it is not right for (EasyCard) to do this, so this situation was wrong."

He said that he should have made his position clearer but he had had limited knowledge on "such matters".

After he had called a meeting with EasyCard co-chairman Tai Chi-chuan and other deputy mayors, he said that he told Tai that the decision to print the cards was wrong and that the cards should not be printed and "future actions" like this must not be said.

Mr Ko said that Tai would not be penalised for his decision to feature a porn star on Taiwan's transport cards.

Yui Hatano. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

So why was the decision made in the first place?

The Shanghaiist reported that EasyCard spokesman Lin Hsiao-chi said last week that the pictures of Hatano, which show plenty of cleavage, conveyed a "fresh, healthy and beautiful" image.

"This set of cards is suitable to put in your wallet and collect. When you look at it, it will cheer you up," she said.

After it was found out that the Angel cover was a picture that came from one of Hatano's films, EasyCard had it redesigned. 

But it looks like these cards will not see light of day anyway.

Before Mr Ko made his announcement that he was against these EasyCards, the Taipei Times had reported that three out of the four major convenience store chains in Taiwan had announced that they would not carry the controversial special edition EasyCard.

Source: AsiaOne, Taipei Times, Shanghaiist

taiwanUncategorisedPornographytransportcontroversyEasyCards