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THHS Japanese 5 Band 2

Giancarlo Frank 11/15/11

In Plain Sight: Modern Prostitution In Japan Modern prostitution in Japan is the result of a centuries-old conflict between the Japanese law and the culture that has tried to circumvent it. Unlike the sex trade of other countries, such as that of the United States,it has become a mainstream component of the culture; within Japan you will find thousands of soaplands, massage parlors and other places where many Japanese citizens shamelessly contribute to a trade that others societies would cast off as part of a darker subculture. Even with the laws prohibiting prostitution, it continues to be an industry that many parties in Japan profit from, and an industry that Japanese law enforcement has turned a blind eye to. Though once a very controversial topic, the more accepting attitude towards prostitution by the Japanese has caused the laws that govern it to be exploited, with many alternative services being provided to take advantage of the strict terminology used in the legislature. The Prostitution Prevention Law of 1957 forbids "intercourse with an unspecified person in exchange for payment." [3] This law, the culmination of of several WWII and postwar-era sex scandals, was a major milestone in the fight against prostitution. Once enacted, it became illegal to operate brothels, and any form of solicited or organized prostitution was rendered illegal. Another law, The Law Regulating Businesses Affecting Public Morals of 1948 separated the sex industry into multiple categories, and these categories have become the questionably legal forms of prostitution that continue in Japan today.[3] According to the Prostitution Prevention Law, the term prostitution is interpreted to mean merely coitus, or intercourse involving vaginal penetration. This interpretation of the law allows for multiple businesses to still offer sex related services without breaking the law, and therefore remain operational. The most popular of these businesses, soaplands (originally known as Turkish Baths) involve the client paying for bathing

services, at which point they would have intercourse with a prostitute. Love hotels, though now less frequently used for prostitution than it was in the late 20th century, have still remained the scene for prostitutes who are willing to engage in one-night-stands with their clients. In these hotels, many couples, clients and their prostitutes, and even strangers pay to spend the night in a hotel, usually with the sole intent of having intercourse. Since the Prostitution Prevention Law, it has become quite difficult to differ between consensual and compensated sex in Japan, as the law states it is legal as long as the two parties are at least acquaintances. Using this argument, establishments claim that both the client and prostitute are well acquainted before any sexual activities occur. The exploitation of loopholes within the law have allowed for more types up sexrelated establishments, including strip clubs (namely, the private rooms within them), call-girl businesses, and adult shops to thrive. Other sections of this law are almost always followed by these establishments such as the minimum age requirement of 18 to be both employed or working in any sex-related business. However, although it is required, many sex-related businesses do not register with the police, but they are allowed to operate so long as they refrain from performing coitus with their clients. Many prostitutes in Japan are Japanese women choose this profession,but human trafficking has affected Japans sex trade, with a several underground parties profiting from human trafficking through prostitution. According to a report by the UNODC, human trafficking in Japan is conducted on an international scale. Victims of trafficking, as identified by both Japans National Police Agency and the United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),mostly came into Japan from other countries all over Asia, with a minority of victims from Eastern Europe[2]. In most cases, these victims are forced into prostitution to repay debts to the Japanese Yakuza (mafia) and overstay their visas while working as prostitutes in Japan[4]. In an ironic series of events, the regulations prohibiting Japanese prostitution have become so complex that they have given way to a form of prostitution that is considered legal. Unlike the underground nature of prostitution in other countries,

however, the Japanese sex industry is not exactly being fought against; where other sex industries have become the darker subculture, Japans has become the mainstream, proving that Japan has again shown an ability to absorb and adapt, producing a unique take on a ancient practice. Bibliography 1)Chaplin, Sarah. Japanese Love Hotels: a Cultural History. London: Routledge, 2007. Print. 2)"Global Report on Trafficking in Persons." United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Feb. 2009. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. <>. Cited pgs. 172-173 3)Hongo, Jun. "Law Bends over Backward to Allow 'fuzoku' | The Japan Times Online." The Japan Times Online: News on Japan, Business News, Opinion, Sports, Entertainment and More. 27 May 2008. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. <>. 4)Kelts, Roland. "Interview with Photographer Joan Sinclair." Pink Box - Inside Japan's Sex Clubs. Web. 15 Nov. 2011. <>. 5)Sanders, Holly. Indentured Servitude and the Abolition of Prostitution in Postwar Japan. Diss. Harvard University, 2006. Indentured Servitude and the Abolition of Prostitution in Postwar Japan. Harvard University. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. < 06-11.sanders.pdf>.