Japanese actress naked for animal rights
Friday, 19 September 2008

AFP, TOKYO - Japanese actress Aya Sugimoto has taken off her clothes for sexy movies and photo shoots, but for the first time Wednesday she went naked for animal rights.

Holding a tiny sign reading, "Fur? I'd rather go naked," Sugimoto posed in the buff before dozens of photographers and television cameras in one of the first Japanese campaigns by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
 
"I stopped wearing fur two years ago after I learned how fur products are being produced," said the actress, who is also a dancer and erotic novelist.
 
"I want to play a role in the 'No Fur' movement and let more people know of the cruel and grim reality for animals," Sugimoto said. "I don't mind at all -- even if my naked photos are posted all over."
 
PETA chose Sugimoto, 40, as the first Japanese model of its international anti-fur campaign because of her passion for animal rights, for which she has created a fake-fur fashion brand.
 
"She is perfect," said Jason Baker, director of the group's Asia-Pacific branch office. "She cares about the issue."
 
Sugimoto, a cat lover, said she wants to show Japanese consumers that being stylish and caring about animal rights do not necessarily contradict.
 
Japanese fashion -- particularly the so-called "kawaii" cute look -- is enjoying growing popularity worldwide.
 
"I want people to realise that they can be stylish and posh enough without using real fur," she said.

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