JAKARTA, INDONESIA - Indonesia on Thursday denied media reports that it had banned a Japanese porn star from visiting the mainly Muslim country to film a no-nudity comedy movie.
Culture and tourism ministry official Ukus Kuswara said the film's production company had voluntarily postponed 23-year-old Maria "Miyabi" Ozawa's visit this week due to "pressures" from religious groups.
"We didn't issue any directive to ban Miyabi's visit to Indonesia," said Kuswara, the ministry's director general for motion pictures, responding to an article in the British press.
"It was an initiative taken by the film producer, considering pressures from some groups which were causing a non-conducive environment," he added.
Muslim leaders and hardline Islamic groups have expressed strong opposition to the visit by the petite Japanese-Canadian porn star.
She was due to play herself in a film entitled "Menculik Miyabi" (Kidnapping Miyabi), about a group of students who accidentally kidnap the starlet.
Executive producer Odi Mulya Hidayat said Miyabi's visit would be rescheduled, with the mainly Hindu tourist island of Bali as a possible alternative location for the film.
"I will fly to Japan next week to reschedule her visit," he said.
"It all depends on her. If she can feel comfortable visiting Bali instead, we'll arrange everything. Bali will be our offer in next week's meeting."
He said the star was also concerned for her safety due to protests and threats by Islamic activists.
Nearly 90 percent of Indonesia's 234 million people are Muslim and most practice a moderate form of the religion. --AFP