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Students meet editors of magazine that ranked universities on women's sexual availability

International Christian University fourth-year student Kazuna Yamamoto, second from right, and three other fellow students visit the editorial department of Fusosha Publishing Inc.'s headquarters in Tokyo's Minato Ward, on Jan. 14, 2019. (Mainichi/Kenichi Omura)

TOKYO -- International Christian University (ICU) students visited a publishing company on Jan. 14 to ask its magazine editors questions concerning why they released an article that ranked universities by the sexual availability of female students.

Fourth-year student Kazuna Yamamoto, 21, launched an online petition campaign demanding Fusosha Publishing Inc. retract the article and apologize. In its Dec. 25, 2018 edition, weekly magazine Shukan Spa! released a ranking for "female university students with easy access."

Along with three fellow students who supported her campaign, Yamamoto held a discussion with editor-in-chief Takashi Inukai and other editors for about 90 minutes. "We had a pleasant talk and proposed new concepts for their articles while conveying our opinions," the ICU student told the press after the meeting. She added, "We hope to look closely at the future activities of Shukan Spa!" The female students say they suggested ideas for articles such as one that focused on sexual consent.

The editorial staff was quoted to have "released such an article as we were pursing ways to boost sales," according to Yamamoto. They recognized the article was misogynistic and offered an apology. "We received constructive feedback," Inukai stated in an interview. He commented, "We hope to make use of the opinions in our editorial work."

The editorial department issued an apology on Jan. 9 as the five universities named in the sex listing protested against the article. Yamamoto started the online petition on Jan. 4 on the website change.org. There has been a huge public reaction and about 50,000 people had signed the petition as of the evening of Jan. 14.

(Japanese original by Kenichi Omura and Satoko Nakagawa, General Digital News Center)

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