Such a strategy encourages young people today to chase dreams of being in the spotlight that many Japanese would have shunned years ago. These days, long-term goals of careers in politics or medicine have been replaced with the need for instant gratification and glamour. Nowhere is such an ideal more apparent than in the fashion industry, and youth fashion, in particular, has undergone changes in the past five years or so that makes it virtually unrecognizable from its former state. The modeling opportunities that exist for preteens in Japan nowadays were certainly evident at Yoyogi National Gymnasium at the beginning of August. Almost models under the age of 14 participated in Tokyo Top Kids Collection, competing for such categories as best fashion, best smile and best runway walk. Among the contestants was year-old Suguri Shishikura, who was making her second appearance as a model and her first at Top Kids Collection.
The news comes as police in Oslo charged three teenaged boys with repeated rapes of underage girls. The boys are also accused of filming scenes of a sexual nature and posting them on social media. According to the police, the videos were shared on closed Facebook groups and blog sites as well as directly to classmates on mobile phone screens. One of the three people charged has been released, while the other two await judgement as to whether they will be remanded in custody, according to news agency NTB. The case reflects a trend of young people becoming more and more reckless and led astray online - and the helplessness of their parents in stopping them, according to Fredy Joaquin Salazar, a police expert on sexual offences, and Eline Liljedahl, a specialist researcher with the police unit countering online crime.