The Korea Herald

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Seoul says will cut power to porn festival planned on Han River

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : April 16, 2024 - 14:13

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Picnickers relax in the park along the Han River in Seoul. (Korea Tourism Organization) Picnickers relax in the park along the Han River in Seoul. (Korea Tourism Organization)

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it would deal sternly with a festival planned for this weekend featuring Japanese adult film stars, including cutting off electricity to the venue.

The warning message came after the city formally issued a ban Sunday on the adult industry exposition advertised as “2024 KXF The Fashion,” organized by Play Joker and to be held on the Han River.

The city government also sent a formal letter to the operator of the venue, Us Cruise, located at Jamwon Hangang Park, of its decision to disallow the event.

In its letter, the city expressed the concern that the event could “distort healthy sexual perceptions and promote sex crimes.”

“Adult entertainment gatherings (on the river) are prohibited under the River Act and the Excursion Ship and Ferry Business Act,” it said.

The law prohibits ferry business operators, their crew members and other employees from engaging in lewd acts or any activities deemed harmful to good morals and manners on a ferry or at a ferry wharf. The venue in question is a cruise shipped that remains moored in place at Jamwon Hangang Park.

The city said it would take “strong measures” if the event went ahead despite the ban.

These measures could include revoking Us Cruise’s permits to operate its business, which include a lease approval and a permit for riverside occupation. The city also said it would file a police complaint.

This is the third attempt for Play Joker to secure a venue for what it has billed as Korea’s first and biggest sex festival, which would invite local fans of Japanese adult films to meet with stars of the industry in person through autograph signing events and fashion shows.

The event was originally planned to take place in an exhibition hall in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, but was blocked by the city government there.

The organizer then attempted to move the event to a studio in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, but that plan was also scrapped after that city government voiced its opposition.

Meanwhile, Play Joker has said it plans to take legal action against the city of Suwon, accusing it of obstruction of business and spreading false information.