The National Police Agency (NPA) over the weekend took into protective custody 26 girls working for businesses providing various dating services to adult men for financial compensation, a bustling underground industry known as “JK business.”
“JK” stands for “joshi kosei,” or female high school students.
The roundup was part of the Japanese government’s April campaign to eradicate the hiring of minors for sexual services. The "JK" businesses provide teenage girls dressed in school uniforms to men for financial compensation, and their services include massages, spot dating and other similar activities.
Police said the campaign on Friday and Saturday focused on teens soliciting customers in four districts in Tokyo -- Akihabara, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Ikebukuro, Fuji TV reported. Twenty-six girls aged 15 to 18 were taken into custody after they were found working at so-called “JK Komyu” private stores, where various sexual activities are believed to have been performed.
According to the NPA, there were about 190 known “JK Komyu” stores in Tokyo as of the end of March this year.
Parents of the girls told police that they believed their underage daughters were “working at coffee shops,” Sankei Shimbun reported Monday.
An NPA spokesperson told reporters that though compensated dating and teenage dating services involving girls under the age of 18 had been on the decline over the past few years, there has been a resurgence recently.
An ordinance targeting the underage dating businesses -- the first of its kind -- was passed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly in March, and will become effective on July 1.
The law will require owners of dating businesses to obtain official permission from the government to operate a business. The law will also ban girls 17 or younger from working in the industry.© Japan Today