A 12-year-old member of up-and-coming Japanese idol group 3B Junior is now in a coma after inhaling some helium for a segment on a Japanese television show, again bringing into question the issue of a child's place in the mostly adult entertainment industry.

3B Junior is a popular idol group comprised of over 20 young girls, the youngest being 10 and oldest only 16 years old. While recording a game segment on their TV show 3B Junior Stardust Shoji, a 12-year-old member of the group inhaled helium gas, then lost consciousness on set. She was immediately transported to a hospital, where, according to some news reports, she came out of her coma just yesterday but is unable to speak and cannot move her limbs.

A police investigation is pending because a staff member of the show neglected to follow the "for adults only" warning on the canister of helium. Because of this lack of caution, a 12 year old is lying in a hospital bed with significant brain damage. 

All this makes you wonder what a 12-year-old child is doing working amongst adults and for adults, especially in such a cutthroat industry like entertainment. 12-year-old children, under any other circumstances, cannot work legally in Japan. Why a child of that young an age, and even younger in some cases, can work long and hard hours in the entertainment industry to make adults around them an insane amount of money is something that probably needs to be addressed.

The girls of 3B Junior

See how three women from the Joseon Era navigate life, love, and social status in the historical drama Maids:

The usual apology by higher-ups