Japan's sex workers head overseas in search of lucrative job opportunities


"Have you considered working abroad?" reads the online post. "I can provide introductions to a variety of countries...You can even enter some without having been vaccinated for COVID. From posts on Twitter, some are convinced up to 80% of the data about working overseas is fake, so feel free to ask me -- I'll explain things to you."

Yuto, a self-described papa-katsu producer, claims to have facilitated arrangements for over 2,000 Japanese women to engage in the sex trade in foreign countries, now the subject of four-page article in Spa (Nov 22-29).

One factor influencing the willingness to seek work abroad is the sharp drop in remuneration in Japan. Despite the surge in inflation affecting other consumer prices, commercial sex, it would seem, faces severe deflation due to an oversupply of sex workers and lack of demand.

Low demand in the sex shop where she worked moved 25-year-old Yumi to become a self-employed streetwalker. She trolls for Johns along Okubo Koen Dori, a seedy area located on the north side of Shinjuku's Kabukicho where the side streets are lined with short-time hotels.

"When I started back in July, I charged ¥15,000 for 'one shot' while wearing a condom," Yumi told Spa. "I'd generally take on three to four customers a day. But then from September the going rate fell to ¥10,000, and more customers were insisting on riding bareback. I noticed that teenage girls not old enough to work in sex shops -- we call them andaa (under) in the trade -- have been increasing. They see all this money changing hands and are willing to do it more cheaply."

Clearly unfavorable conditions at home have added to the incentives for more girls to work abroad.

"Up to last year, I worked at a high-class soapland (erotic bathhouse) in Kawasaki's Horinouchi red-light district," said a 28-year-old woman named Chinatsu. "While I was there, the shop charged ¥40,000 for a two-hour session. But business got worse."

Then a regular customer, a Chinese, offered to introduce Chinatsu to an "escort" service in Hong Kong, where she now resides.

"In most cases, I get called to meet customers at the restaurants in high-class hotels, and from there we go directly to their rooms," she related. "The going rate ranges from ¥70,000 to ¥100,000 and if the customer really likes me they might pay an extra ¥100,000 for me to spend the night.

"Another time I engaged in a threesome with the president of a famous Korean company, who paid ¥200,000 to each girl."

"Chinese men had an image of being physically abusive, but I've found them to be affluent and gentlemanly," Chinatsu added. "And generous. On more than one occasion they would magnanimously peel off five HK $1,000 bills (equivalent to around ¥90,000) to tip me."

As a side business, Chinatsu has assisted her employer in procuring younger, Lolita-type girls from Japan, for which she receives a broker's fee of between 30 to 40%.

Another form of overseas work considered particularly lucrative carries the job description sei settai hisho, which translates as "secretaries who provide sex" -- offered to corporate warriors as a perk to upon successful conclusion of business negotiations. In the case of one young woman, most of the action has taken place in Dubai.

The standard modus operandi, she explained, is for females to attend dinner parties and then invite their employer's clients up to their hotel room. One woman told the magazine that including tips, she cleared ¥1.6 million in the course of one week.

On the other end of the spectrum is Aoi, a 22-year-old former worker at a cabaret club in Shibuya, who signed up with a broker to turn tricks at a brothel in New York's Chinatown for ¥12,000 per transaction.

"Most customers were in and out within 10 minutes," she told Spa's reporter. "With that kind of turnover, on a busy day I could service 20 guys. In the month I was in New York, I cleared ¥5 million."

The next problem was how to repatriate such a large sum of money, as getting caught with that much cash at airport customs risked confiscation.

"My solution was to convert about ¥3.5 million of it into designer brand items that I could easily resell in Japan," she chuckled.

© Japan Today

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No pity for those trash women who choose the easiest job in the world, also if trashy enough, one of the best payed. I pity those who work their ars for minimum salary at local konbinis, shops, etc.

Not sure why prostitutes are promoted here.

-16 ( +10 / -26 )

Very informative.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I was surprised that so many of my female friends at university started doing sexual things for money. College isn't cheap, so there is that. The men they went with were all older. Those of us in college were their friends, not customers. I think people would be really surprised to know how many "respectable" adult women - teachers, psychiatrists, doctors - got money in the sex trade when they were young, in college, and incapable of paying for an expensive degree.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

There is a very fine line between this and human trafficking / sexual slavery.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Most women does this for host clubs and hosts. If any of them tells you it is for tuition, family loans, living expenses they are 99% lying.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Not sure why prostitutes are promoted here.

What part did you feel was "promotion"? describing a situation is not the same as promoting it. That sex can lead to high paying jobs is not exactly some well hidden secret that is just now being found.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Euro DudeNov. 23  01:31 pm JST

Not sure why prostitutes are promoted here.

Good point.

Very obvious attempt by this article to promote the world of prostitutes going abroad to work.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

getting caught with that much cash at airport customs risked confiscation.

Not if you declare it. You could also wire the money back or get a money order drawn up.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As a Japanese woman I feel terrified for non-sex worker fellow Japanese women if this goes long and the world starts associating "Japanese women" as sex workers when they see us abroad. We are already sexualized and fetishized enough.. I already heard some stories about foreign immigration being skeptical when a Japanese woman trying to enter the country because they get suspicious if the woman is going to illegally "work" in the country.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

they would magnanimously peel off five HK $1,000 bills

rather eloquent for the line of work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Glabalization at its best or worst?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What part did you feel was "promotion"? 

Some obvious promotion:

"Most customers were in and out within 10 minutes," she told Spa's reporter. "With that kind of turnover, on a busy day I could service 20 guys.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I knew a Nisei woman (born in America, of Japanese descent) who worked in the high end sex business in New York City for 10 years. She built up a nest egg, married a German, and moved there when she "retired."

In my experience such behavior is far from the norm, but also not unheard of.

I make it a point to meet and talk with people from all walks of life, but I have never met anyone who I could describe as a victim of human trafficking. Of the women I met who worked in one capacity of another in the sex trade, I would not describe any of them as victims. I have met many women who I would say have been victims in life, but none of them worked in the sex business.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Some obvious promotion:

That is a description, and most people would not think having sex with 20 different strangers in a day to be desirable and promoting the activity, if you felt tempted to follow that is more a reflection of your personal attitude towards it than an unbiased judgment of what people in general find attractive.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How can they compete with all the free sex in America

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Shaming sex workers is very unfair, but shows exactly what men think of women. Men don't mind paying for sex, but hate the women they pay to participate.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

 We are already sexualized and fetishized enough.

99% of which is done in Japan by Japanese men through the massive, world-beating industries of JAV pornography, cos-play culture, and mizu-shobai whose businesses found around nearly all of Japan's sizable train stations.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

These articles about prostitution make me think, and remember. At Thanksgiving dinner today will be a woman who was supported for years by an older, wealthy, married man. She was a single mother. A man set her up in a house with a yard, where she lived for years. He died suddenly, and when his wife found out about the arrangement, she quickly withdrew all support. I sometimes wonder if the man involved, who seemed to love her, would have set her up with an inheritance if he knew he was dying.

Today the woman is happily married, and a grandmother.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JeffLee - typical of gaijin men in Japan, they seek to have relationships with Japanese women and demonize and demean Japanese men, who are their rivals for dates in the country. Classless. Men of all races participate in using the sex trade...and so what. I myself used to do sex work when I was a young woman. I am not at all messed up about it and refuse to be shamed.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

So now Japanese women are being prostituted to other parts of Asia. I wonder what the right wingers have to say about that.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It is THEIR choice, Aly.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It is THEIR choice, Aly.

If that is true then ok. But one has to wonder how many were coerced into it. That's what worries me

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This story is not particularly new. I recall reading something similar in another weekly about Japanese women who fly to Los Angeles or Las Vegas to engage in similar activities. Others were not ordinary prostitutes but appeared in US productions of adult videos. Must have been at least 25 years ago, around the time of the collapse of the bubble economy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No judgment but do these women have any other skills… like typing? 15,000 yen for one shot. That’s still cheaper than wining and dining a girl at a nice restaurant for a first date, which may or may not, lead to something in the bedroom later. You end up paying for it one way or another. I don’t know any woman who have done sex work in the past, or at least admitted it. Probably something best to be upfront about when looking for a serious relationship or keep it buried forever. Again no judgment.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Bit uncomfortable reading this. The article describes quite serious things like sex trafficking and child prostitution, yet is written as if it were just describing trends in a regular labor market like that for software engineers or math teachers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, if you got it spread it, except for herpes.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I noticed that teenage girls not old enough to work in sex shops -- we call them andaa (under) in the trade -- have been increasing.

Something should probably be done about this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is still human trafficking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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