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Legal loopholes give rise to bars, salons employing underage girls

38 Comments

Since last year, a string of incidents have occurred involving so-called "girl's bars," "ear-cleaning esthetic salons" and "thigh massages." In January 2008, a 23-year-old female worker was fatally stabbed by customer at a "girl's bar" in Matsuyama City.

The factor common to all three types of establishments is they do not fall under the Law Regulating Businesses Affecting Public Morals, which prohibits workers under the age of 18 from directly serving customers, including engaging in extended conversation or providing services of a sexual nature.

Spa! (Sept 8) reports that high-school girls have been flocking to such "lite-type" services -- particularly during their summer vacations -- where word on the street says they can earn as much as 400,000 yen or more per month.

Even ear-wax removal, however, can have its perils. A 17-year-old working at once such "esute" in Akihabara says drunken customers often attempt to grope her. "The shop lets customers bring in their own drinks, so some act like they're in a cabaret club," she tells the magazine.

Last June, police in Saitama shut down an ear-cleaning establishment on a zoning violation. "It was operating in a shopping mall," says a Saitama prefectural police source. "We received information it was engaging in 'sexual services.' After obtaining confidential testimony from a customer, we went to court and obtained a warrant."

The service, which had opened in May 2008, had added a new twist from December to boost revenues.

"I responded to the help-wanted ad, and went to the interview thinking it was an ordinary esthetic salon," says a 17-year-old who had worked there. "The manager told me, 'In addition to ear-cleaning, we also offer other kinds of things.'"

What he referred to was a "rejuvenation treatment," a euphemism for "testicle massage," for which customers paid 14,500 yen for a one-hour session.

In Nagoya, an "esute" featuring teens, whose ages and other profile data are displayed openly to customers, operates just minutes from the main railway station.

"I've kept it a secret from my dad, but my mother knows I'm working here," says the masseuse, a girl in her second year of high school identified as C. "My allowance got cut off because of the recession. On a good day, I'll have three or four customers and take home about 40,000 yen."

While the girls -- who wear bikinis while they work -- are under no compunction to engage in sex, C says some customers become aroused and inquire if such services are available.

While C adheres to the shop rules, other girls appear eager to supplement their pay with tips. "My friend lets them grope her for an extra 2,000 yen," she says. "She told me customers will slip the bills into her bra."

Aside from airing authorities' annoyance over how such questionable shops manage to skirt legal constraints, the article voices concerns that the young women who take on such jobs may find the high remuneration an incentive to turn to full-blown prostitution. Tougher ordinances, Spa! concludes, will probably be needed.

© Japan Today

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38 Comments
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And the beat goes on . . . .

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Japan becoming the new Thailand?

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While C adheres to the shop rules, other girls appear eager to supplement their pay with tips. “My friend lets them grope her for an extra 2,000 yen,” she says. “She told me customers will slip the bills into her bra.”

Ugh. Some girl have no selfrespect these days. I would never let anyone grope me for a 20$. I'll give them a "massage" with my leg where it hurts. >:K

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Sounds like it's time to get my ears cleaned!

=)

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Gaijinocchio, You have got it a bit wrong. Japan has always been like Thailand. Just he girls here are really girls. (99% of the time) Everyone knows in the world how slutly a lot of Japanese girls are.

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These spa articles paint crime as there are no problems. Is spa owned by the yakoza or something?

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I would never let anyone grope me for a 20$.

So, ComradeRuskie, are you telling us that 20 dollars is to low, and that you expect to be paid more to be groped?

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This is outrageous, those 'ear-cleaning' salons. Who pays for that? Maybe I'm a bit DIY man, but I can clean my own ears, massage my thighs and even give myself a nice rejuvenation treatment in the comfort of my house.

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Instead of just using such services (or paying capital into such businesses), the cops should be helping local authorities to close such facilities down. Imagine if you had a nice young plod stationed out the front of each of these establishments, taking names and particulars as Japanese plod seem want to do (Is that your bicycle Mr Smith?). It would sure be a better way to use (waste) taxpayer's money, rather than having the police slouched around the Koban, sucking on their last meal while waiting for the next demae delivery. The rozzers might also offer a free photo service so the patrons could commemorate their visits. Really good photos might even make it into the local papers. Try and explain that to the missus. Moreover, given Japan's penchant for putting kids on the straight and narrow (even if the kids don't cooperate), instead of just attacking these businesses under the auspice of public morals ordinances, they might consider prosecutions under legislation regarding activities that are contrary to the development of youth.

Basically, these "feel up a school girl" establishment would go out of business if the someway could be found to maximize the sham of using them. What about some photos of the people entering combined with some home visits afterward (in the presence of dependents) just to check on the safety of all concerned.

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What he referred to was a “rejuvenation treatment,” a euphemism for “testicle massage,” for which customers paid 14,500 yen for a one-hour session

You must be nuts to pay that.

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Freddy5 wrote: You must be nuts to pay that.

No. You must have nuts!

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“I’ve kept it a secret from my dad, but my mother knows I’m working here,” says the masseuse, a girl in her second year of high school identified as C

Isn't that child labor? I hate the mother. What in the world is she thinking by approving this? Why do they have to have this amount of money? If the parents are working then can't they live within their means?

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I wouldn't mind having a pretty girl clean my ears : ) Under 18 however, and that's where it stops.

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What he referred to was a “rejuvenation treatment,” a euphemism for “testicle massage,” for which customers paid 14,500 yen for a one-hour session

At a very young age, the men are exposed to so much of sexually explicit stuff from literature, to toys to real services offered by bars and clubs. They start out so early, and so by the time they are 40, they are dysfunctional. It is very sad and very abnormal. So you will notice that it is the middle-aged men that are reported with all these sex-related offences.

I am not sure if all these rejuvenation things will work. It is beyond cure for many. This is the reason that everything has to be in moderation. I think sexology experts should work on this issue.

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How do you intern to be a sexology expert? Surely a mere 20 bucks only offers a touch.

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Testicle massage? Wow...not sure I would want that under any circumstances...hope it is not like one of those vicious Russian back massages you can get. The guy won't be able to walk for a week!

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Legal loopholes are evident elsewhere...

Gambling is illegal... yet pachinko parlors are everywhere, you win junk... take the junk across the street to the affiliated store, exchange it for cash.

Prostitution is illegal... yet soap land is everywhere... "oh its not prostitution if its happens consensually"...

Loopholes can be blocked if the authorities/government are really serious about stopping them... but they are not.

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Yeah, the lack of self-respect is sad. We all know the allure of money, especially in these dire times, is hard to resist but there some things that can't be bought.

Personally, I hope they fix this loophole because this is just another step downward for society and we're already starting to reach the bottom:(

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The law should in Japan needs to be understood in spirit. Depressing stuff.

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PleasureGelf at 11:19 AM JST - 7th September Maybe I'm a bit DIY man, but I can clean my own ears, massage my thighs and even give myself a nice rejuvenation treatment in the comfort of my house.

Wouldn't having it done by a cute high school girl be so much better?

I love Japan. Why no pics or directions?

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societymike,

er, no. Unless in experienced hands the treatment can be extremely painful and I'm not into S/M. Not to mention I can't stand high pitched giggling.

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PleasureGelf, thats the whole point. To make that silly high pitched giggle go away for a small fee.... That in itself seems worth it and anything else is a bonus.

And by the way, who cares? Nobody is twisting these girls arms behind their backs.

Why is everyone acting like every middle age salary man in Japan is off? A man works hard, he has a few extra bucks and a couple of times a month he wants to hear 'like this?' instead of 'why?'....

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This is outrageous, those 'ear-cleaning' salons. Who pays for that? Maybe I'm a bit DIY man, but I can clean my own ears, massage my thighs and even give myself a nice rejuvenation treatment in the comfort of my house.

"PleasureGelf" that was one the most hilarious posts I've seen on any forum in a long time. Cheers, mate.

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...unfortunately noborito has it right. My Japanese friends and girlfriend agree too, a good many Japanese girls are sluts. I think girls in Japan have more freedom than most give them credit for. Look at the cash these girls are making and they're willing to do extra to make some more ¥.

Society's focus on money has become a curse. Money is worth more than pride these days, so "services" are just one more way to make some quick cash, no matter what the age.

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Thanks goodness for loopholes!!!

The government is washing with dirt! Why do you expect anyone else is washing clean?!

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I think girls in Japan have more freedom than most give them credit for. Look at the cash these girls are making and they're willing to do extra to make some more ¥. Society's focus on money has become a curse. Money is worth more than pride these days, so "services" are just one more way to make some quick cash, no matter what the age.

Unfortunately, thats right. These girls are willing to lose their self-respect and do anything just for an expensive bag they found in depaato. Materialism is really popular in Japan.

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This may be silly and typically Japanese, but to say that it is evil and that exploitation of women to gratify men's desires is unique to Japan is wrong.

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What bothers me most is the young age of these girls. They don't yet have a solid sense of self. They may not even realize they are being degraded and exploited. However, the damage to their self-respect and self-esteem could already be done. It's up to the government to fill these loopholes to protect young women from this type of industry.

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What bothers me most is the age of these girls. They probably have not developed a solid sense of self yet and may not even realize they are being degraded and exploited. The damage to their self-respect and self-esteem could already be done. (not to mention the potential dangers of harassment or stalking) It's up to the government to fill these loopholes to protect these young women from this type of industry. And it's up to parents to keep their daughters safe and away from such 'girl bars'.

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At what point can a person start making decisions about what they do with themselves? The law may be clear as mud, but here in Japan it seems there are many 15 and 17 year-olds who are educated and focused and seem mature enough to make decisions for themselves, and perhaps 18 and 20 year-olds who aren't. I say allow it and deal with complaints, if any, on a case by case basis. Perhaps those under 18 or 20 should need a parent to sign off permission. I suspect there will be few complaints because the actors seem willing. This is Japan, and these days Japan is starting to shed some the Western ways and morals it's adopted since the war. About time!

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Underage girls should not be involved in sexual services.....however, the rendering of sexual services (for money) between consenting adults should not be illegal. No country can call itself "free" if it bars consenting adults from willfully engaging in sex.

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The more I read this, the less content I really see what they allege. Sadly, American sensationalistic journalism has crept all over the world as normal.

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This is Japanese-style sensationalist journalism.

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While the girls—who wear bikinis while they work—are under no compunction to engage in sex,

There's a big difference between "compunction" and "compulsion" which one assumes was the word that should have been used.

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"In Nagoya, an “esute” featuring teens, whose ages and other profile data are displayed openly to customers, operates just minutes from the main railway station."

THe least they could do is provide a street address, haha!!

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Cleaning ears? Testicle massage?

Testosterone-induced stupidity should be recognized as a medical condition. It is clearly a handicap that even stupid young women are able to exploit with impunity.

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japan is all about young girls, a mate and myself went to a shop that said you could meet a japanese idol (pornstar) or something, so we thought, cool, thats sounds interesting. We went there and the place was a big store in Akihabara which sold only dvds in which 12 year olds were naked or in swim suits, some girls were younger. It was sickening to be honest. I love porn but not with kids. That stuff was sick. This was a major store, everyone knows it. Why is it still open? Because the laws here are so light when it comes to child exploitation that girls can pretty much be involved in anything from dvds to massage palors. After all those old politians have to get their kicks some how. I find it funny how they are so hard on drug taking but buying dvd of a 10yr old strutting her stuff it just fine.

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Oh Japan, you sick, sick country.

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