crime

Girls bar owner arrested for employing middle school students

24 Comments
By Preston Phro

Being a middle school student must be hard. You’re not quite an adult but you’re definitely not a child either. And as you’re discovering the world around you, you’re also realizing just how much money matters. But depending on where you live, you might find yourself extremely limited in the jobs you can find.

A girls bar, in case you’re not familiar with the term, is basically a bar where the bartenders are primarily young women. Unlike a hostess club, customers are not necessarily charged by the hour nor are the girls paid to sit and talk with individual patrons.

In a news story equal parts depressing and horrifying, it seems that a girls bar called Venus, located in Higashi Shinsaibashi in Osaka, has been employing three middle school girls, aged 15 to 16 years old, as “customer pullers.” Basically, they would stand outside and try to entice customers to come to the bar, escorting interested patrons to the counter.

The proprietor of the club, Keita Fukuda, 28 years old, was arrested for breaking the Entertainment Business Law, which includes provisions against employing underage people.

Adding to the wretchedness of the situation was Fukuda’s rules for the girls. An absence from work without permission resulted in the girls being charged a 30,000 yen penalty, while being late resulted in a 1,000 yen penalty.

Fukuda’s arrest came after one of the girls, 16, consulted the police. It seems that her penalties had simply piled up too much and she wanted to quit. It’s not clear why she needed the police to help her quit, but we imagine that her now-ex-boss probably isn’t a very reasonable guy. Another girl, 15, confirmed that she had been forced to serve middle-aged customers.

Sources: Sankei News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- How to get AmEx to pay for your fun time at the girly bar -- 15-year-old girl tries to scam adult out of $40,000 -- Suspicious Man Reported to Police by Suspicious Middle School Girls

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24 Comments
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Being a middle school student must be hard. You’re not quite an adult but you’re definitely not a child either.

Say what? Middle school-aged kids are definitely children, regardless of how they look on the outside.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

"Being a middle school student must be hard. You’re not quite an adult but you’re definitely not a child either." How long has this journalist been in Japan? I ask my 18 & 19 year old university students if they think they are an adult, and the vast majority of them say "no". I'm glad the kids spoke up in this case.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I think junior high school and middle school are the same thing in some countries.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The law states you can work from age 16 but only till 22:00(10pm) and need to be home by 23:00).

Not sure what extra limitations apply for bars, snacks, etc.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Exactly USNinJapan2

Especially the first year middle school students, 80% of them are very very childish, Its only the 3rd year students that start to mature, but are definitely not adults.....teenagers yes, but not adults

5 ( +5 / -0 )

JHS kids should not be hustling for girls' bars.

Hope Fukuda gets the book thrown at him for exploiting these children.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Brain remodelling happens intensively during adolescence, continuing till the mid-20s, it is understood thinking is not as rational as most K7 age students.

Anyone employing K9-K12 students needs strict regulating. As exploitation of this age group is particularly heinous given our current grasp of human brain development.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Is there a law here against underage girls working at bars or drinking establishments such as izakayas? A lot of places I drink at have part-timers that are high schoolers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

DudeDeuceNov. 18, 2013 - 08:13AM JST

Is there a law here against underage girls working at bars or drinking establishments such as izakayas?

Jido Fukushi Ho (Child Welfare Act)

Article 34. No one may do the following.

Item 8. To use a child younger than 15 years old at an alcohol serving establishment.

Rodo Kijun Ho (Labor Standard Act)

Article 56. No one may employ a minor unless he has past the first March 31 after being 15 years old.

Change of Child welfare act has been discussed quite a lot of times, but still not changed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Middle school students are definitely children! 16-18 yo are different and mature at different rates.

Also, I agree with CrazyJoe, if you can't drink what you serve, you shouldn't be serving it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

They should also make it a crime for those fellas handing out tissue packets, harassing girls to work in their clubs..."Please come work at our club and allow strangers to grope you for money."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wow, i know theres laws here where students in middle and high school had to apply for student work permits even during the summer. I think its horrible that someone would treat minors like this and not to think of what would happen when the cops find out :( I'm glad hes in jail.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Are the penalties legal?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The law states you can work from age 16 but only till 22:00

And authorizations are not given for that type of business. Anyway everything is so wrong in this story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

eh? why would you be forced?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Plenty of states in the US allow those too young to drink to work in establishments that sell alcohol, including grocery stores. I don't think that's such an issue as the idea of trying to get middle school students to be the bait to lure customers in to bars. I know I'm going to get an earful of how much older than their age they might really look but it just seems like the whole situation surrounding this Fukuda character and his establishment was pretty nefarious from the word go.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Serve? With cream on top? Pfffft.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

DudeDeuce

I've seen minors working part time at izakayas too and thought it strange that they're allowed to handle alcohol despite being underage themselves. I would think that minors wouldn't be permitted under the law to sell age restricted merchandise like alcohol and tobacco. Also, I think there is some legal distinction between an izakaya whose business is combined sale of food and beverages and a bar or snack whose sales are almost entirely beverages, primarily alcoholic ones.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"A girls bar, in case you’re not familiar with the term, is basically a bar where the bartenders are primarily young women" In the USA, this is what we call..... a bar.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Where there is young meat, there will be guys ready to spend $$$ left and right, right??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Kids this age should not be working in a bar. And fined on top of that?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"There should be a law banning anyone under 20 from working in alcohol serving establishments."

Here's that ridiculous regulatory mindset again. That would eliminate many fastfood/restaurant jobs as well.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There should be a law banning anyone under 20 from working in alcohol serving establishments.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"Being a middle school student must be hard."

Does Japan have middle schools? I thought they went from elementary directly to junior high.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

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