The release of Japanese film “Confession,” set for March 25, has been indefinitely postponed due to allegations of sexual abuse leveled against the director Sakaki Hideo by several actresses and published on Wednesday by a leading Japanese tabloid. No legal charges have been filed against the director.
Ark Entertainment, which is handling the local release and international sales, announced the postponement on the film’s official website.
Sakaki also issued an apology on the site, saying: “I am very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the article to the producers, staff, cast members, and other people who worked hard to create the film, and above all, the audience who are looking forward to its release of the film. I sincerely apologize to everyone for the inconvenience, worry, and discomfort I have caused. I am truly sorry that I have caused injury and grief to my precious and irreplaceable family. I am also very sorry to others who have been made to feel that they were in the middle of this story, regardless of whether or not it was true.”
Sakaki is an in-demand actor who has also been directing films and TV dramas since directing a segment of the 2003 anthology “Director Infection.” His 2010 buddy comedy “Kidnap Rhapsody” won an audience award at the 2010 Udine Far East Film Festival and his 2013 film “Disregarded People” premiered in competition at the 2013 Tokyo International Film Festival.
Another Sakaki-directed film, “Hazard Light,” is still set for an April 15 bow though that could change any moment.
“Confession” stars Satsukawa Aimi as a 32-year-old woman who suffered sexual abuse as a teenager from her stepfather and is still dealing with the trauma. Sakaki does not appear as an actor in either film.
The Japanese film industry has been slow to recognize cases of sexual abuse and harassment, though industry figures have taken up the related issues of abuse of power and bullying. A suit alleging workplace abuse by Uplink president Asai Takashi was filed in July 2020 by former employees.