|Kinako Koguma’s Twitter|
Koguma, began to be suspected of selling gifts she had received from fans after it was noticed that the pictures of the items she had posted to her merucari account were the same as pictures of fan presents that she had previously posted to a social media account.
On January 4th, Koguma posted an apology to her fans on the official ICE CREAM SUICIDE website. In the apology she admits to having sold the gifts via the mobile app and expresses great regret for her actions. A translation of the apology can be seen below.
To everyone who is always rooting for me,
As for the matter that has been brought to everyone’s attention, although I was also selling items that belonged to my family, it is true that I was selling presents that I had received from fans.
I apologize for my thoughtless actions, which caused both worry and trouble to my fans.
I also deeply apologize for betraying your trust.
I am filled with a great sense of guilt over the sense of disappointment, sadness and betrayal that I have caused all of you who support me.
I am truly sorry.
However, this is not the only case of idols getting caught selling fan presents. On January 2nd, a member of the Hirashima idol group, MAPLE Z, Sae Kayama, also posted a similar apology to her blog after she too came under suspicion of selling gifts given to her by fans. As a result of this the managing office of MAPLE Z has prohibited all their artists from receiving presents from fans.
The banning of presents seems like the best solution here. Of course, fans want to show their love for these artists in whatever way they can and sometimes that means giving them presents. However, its very likely that these neither need nor want whatever presents they are receiving. Both ICE CREAM SUICIDE and MAPLE Z are very minor idol groups and as such the members of these groups are probably making very little money. In fact, members of these small idol groups often make so little money that they have to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. So if these girls are given something that they don’t need and that can make them some money it makes total sense that they would sell it. I think just about anyone int heir situation would do the same thing and to expect otherwise seems unreasonable. However, using the same pictures you already posted to your social media account? Come on. You gotta be more careful than that.