“We couldn’t believe our ears,” says Spa! (Oct 28). The surprise came to its attention via a shady character who launders cell phones for a living, buying them en masse and selling them to organized crime figures and others whose business demands untraceable communication. The crux of his revelation is that the yakuza has begun tapping a once taboo revenue source: underage girls.
The girls are runaways, whose number, Spa! says, has been rising dramatically over the past three years. Unwilling to provoke the police into a crackdown, the yakuza have traditionally shunned inducting minors into its ero-commerce. If the source is to be believed, that has changed.
A Spa reporter finds himself in “K City, in a certain prefecture,” under the guidance of a 35-year-old man called “Yama-san,” director of the local wing of “the project.” Headquarters are a dormitory used by Chinese exchange students. When the students vacate the dorm for the summer holidays, Yama-san rents it for the five girls under his personal wing. There are 21 girls altogether, divided into teams of four or five. The service they provide is a kind of “deri-health” -- a euphemism for delivery sex -- with this difference: encounters are by appointment only.
We follow Spa’s reporter to a station wagon in an inconspicuous parking lot a 10-minute walk from the love hotel employed by the “project.” Four of the girls are at work; one, evidently between appointments, sits in the back seat absorbed in a computer game.
“At first,” explains Yama-san, “we were dead-set against using underage girls. But then we heard from other deri-health operators who shared their know-how with us on how to keep the police away.”
A key component here is group discipline. A 17-year-old girl chafes as she describes it: “We finish work at 9:30, and it’s back to the dorm. No going out at night. No smoking on the street, no drinking. Host clubs are off limits. And if one of the girls earns less than the rest of us, we have to share with her” -- equality, for the sake of group harmony, being a guiding principle. Even so, the trade provides an income in the neighborhood of 200,000 yen a week, the job security and the family-like atmosphere apparently making up for the restricted freedom.
Cell phones and the Internet have given adolescent runaway girls access to a life spacious beyond the dreams of their counterparts of earlier generations. Spa! introduces “K-chan” and “S-chan,” 16 and 17 respectively, who met on a website introducing dubious ways of making a living. K-chan’s scam at that point had been doping her clients at love hotels and stealing their cash.
That was old hat to S-chan, whose yakuza connections had taught her a trick or two beyond the ken of the uninitiated. Why dirty yourself with sex with unattractive rich old men, she counseled K-chan. Instead, sell them sleeping tablets packaged by the yakuza to look like sex stimulation pills. When the men pass out, don’t rob them but use your cell phone to photograph their business cards, drivers’ licenses and so on -- all that’s needed for a lucrative yakuza shakedown, of which the girls get a share -- as much as 300,000 yen, says K-chan.© Japan Today