Sales of Taipei travel cards featuring porn star to go ahead

Sales of Taipei travel cards featuring porn star to go ahead
PHOTO: Internet screengrab / Twitter @hatano_yui

TAIPEI - Plans to sell Taipei commuters thousands of prepaid travel cards featuring a popular Japanese porn star will go ahead, transport authorities said Monday, despite objections from women's groups and politicians.

Sales of the two versions of the cards - "Angels" and "Demons", with both bearing a photo of Yui Hatano - will start from midnight Monday, priced at Tw$500 ($15.40), according to the EasyCard Corporation.

The cards will be limited to telephone sales only. They will not be sold in stores or online after a compromise from the distributor.

"In order to show respect for different opinions and take into consideration the company's business, we decided to set up a sales threshold and restrict the number of cards," EasyCard said in a statement.

The company also apologised for "touching off a massive controversy" and vowed to review regulations governing the release of travel cards.

Although neither card features nude images, the company's plans sparked an outcry from women's groups and politicians, who complained that using the porn star's image was inappropriate and asked Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je to dismiss EasyCard chairman Tai Chi-chuan.

The "Demons" card shows Hatano wearing an off-the-shoulder black dress while the "Angels" card features her wearing a white dress.

Ko ordered a cap of 15,000 cards but did not remove Tai. 7-Eleven and other major convenience store chains have boycotted the sales of the controversial cards.

On her Taiwan Facebook website, 27-year-old Hatano received support from local fans, with one urging her "to skip the words of politicians".

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