A love potion company in China has apologised for letting Japanese former porn star Sora Aoi don the red scarf, a symbol of the Communist Party's Young Pioneers, at a “charity event”, according to media reports.
The apology came after the youth group issued a statement on Thursday, condemning the firm for using the red scarf as a publicity stunt and accusing it of breaking the law.
Shanghai-based firm Baizhentang issued a statement through its Weibo account on Thursday evening, apologising for the “improper” use of the red scarf and “damage to Chinese people’s feelings”.
The video filmed early last week shows Aoi wearing the red scarf at an event to raise money for poor students in Dehong, Yunnan province, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Friday.
Earlier this week video clips circulated online, some of them titled “Sora Aoi hired as Young Pioneer’s tutor”.
The videos prompted criticism online by people who complained it was defaming the red scarf and country’s martyrs.
Aoi – who also uses the name Sola Aoi – first came to prominence as an adult video actress in Japan in 2002, and began building a career as a mainstream entertainer the following year.
She has appeared in television shows and films in several Asian countries, released records in several languages and quit the adult movie industry in 2011.
Although China’s national broadcasting authority has banned her from appearing on television, she has built up an extensive social media following on the Chinese platform Weibo and has almost 19 million followers on the platform.
In 2012 she appealed for the two countries to improve relations following a wave of anti-Japanese protests across China prompted by the decision by the government in Tokyo to buy the disputed Diaoyu, or Senkaku, islands from a private owner.
The Communist Party's Young Pioneers, a mass movement for children aged between six and 14, issued the statement on Thursday, condemning the company for ignoring the spirit of the red scarf and tarnishing the reputation of the group.
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It said it would take legal action against the company for breaking China’s Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law, which prohibits the defamation of the memory of the country’s “martyrs”.
The company apologised later for wrongly using the red scarf and causing negative public feelings.
It said it would “unswervingly uphold the Party’s leadership” and “strengthen patriotism education”. Aoi has yet to comment on the issue.
This article Japanese porn star Sora Aoi wears Young Pioneers’ red scarf at charity event sparking anger in China first appeared on South China Morning Post