Take our user survey and make your voice heard.

Tokyo's Shinjuku to ban street solicitation from September


Local authorities in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward have decided to ban street solicitation on the streets from September.

Shinjuku Ward Mayor Hiroko Nakayama said that the local government studied the issue for two months and decided to implement the ban in public places "in order to create a ward community that offers safety and peace of mind to residents and visitors," TV Asahi reported.

The ban is aimed at curbing the activities of bar, eatery and karaoke parlor touts who hand out flyers and proposition potential customers in the streets. Shopping districts will be allowed to appoint patrol wardens to keep the streets clear, a local government spokesperson said.

However, the new regulations will not carry a financial penalty if broken.

© Japan Today

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

I wish they'd do that in Hachioji, to them and the tissue people. They severely hinder pedestrian traffic. And I'm very tired of the same guy offering me a flier about contact lenses EVERY day.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No penalty = No point!

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Thats so wrong!

I love getting tissue... Especially on those surprise runny nose days...

Sometimes if i gather with a large group , i like to have the touts fight over our group... Who has cheaper beer? Food? Accommodations? Lol

I live near kabukicho/higashi shinjuku... Why not clean up the yaks in suits who follow you like the ghosts from mario brothers? "Sex? Sex. You need?"

Or the sacred Nigerians and othe random Africans that walk in front of you following "come to my club!/shop/bigtitties" and yelling vulgar stuff to your girlfriend...

I knocked one out and I had to spend the next three hours at the koban... Then we were both released ???

Saying "hey sexy" and grabbing my girl's butt. WHILE IM WALKING WITH HER!


But this will fall on deaf ears...

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Bad news for our Nigerian cousins...I suppose they will move down to Roppongi where it is also illegal!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"However, the new regulations will not carry a financial penalty if broken."

Classic Japanese lawmaker back-patting. Announce something, but make it clear it won't be carried out.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Street solicitation is already illegal in the bulk of places in Japan where it is common practice. As has been suggested, with no penalty, nothing will change. I would have thought it would be a useful revenue raising tool if they did start throwing a few fines out there. White_Shinobi - good on you. I am too paranoid about my visa and any repercussions every time I'm up that way to hit one of them, although there have been a few times I've wanted to.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This should not be left for the local authorities, the Japanese government should pass a law banning street solicitation nationwide with strict penalties.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe no financial penalty, but I'm willing to be they will be check the visa status of all the foreigners they catch do solicitations.

Which is probably more to the point.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There are other jobs out there but the lazy people always want the easy jobs.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Shopping districts will be allowed to appoint patrol wardens to keep the streets clear, a local government spokesperson said. " So who will the local patrol wardens be? The local yaks to make sure foreign gangs do not encroach on their territory?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I love the way all you freedom fighters want a good old fashioned harsh crack down.

There is nothing wrong with beginning with a soft approach. Give people a chance and some time, and if they don't comply, then penalties can be introduced. Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong at all. This whole society is pretty gentle for taking the gentle approach. If you want harsh quick crack downs, you seriously don't need to stick around Japan where you won't see many.

Besides, I cannot say I have been particularly bothered by these people when I go to Shinjuku. What has bothered me is young guys scouting for hostesses and A/V actresses. Just watching their harassment makes me consider violence. It I start talking crackdowns with penalties, I would begin there, and not with people who stop trying to give you tissues the second you raise your hand in a "stop" gesture.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Only the police can check foreigners' visas. If some old fella in a green uniform and hat asks for it tell him to take a hike.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I bet they won't ban 'street solicitation' at election times.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Nigerians saying dirty sexual stuff to white dude's girlfriends?? Touching and feeling them up?? Sorry never heard of that and most Africans I have met here in Japan have been more educated than any if these crazy comments! Although I did meet one Nigerian that was angry at his fellow street hustlers that would yell “omanko kusai" To Japanese girls who would not go to their shops!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The African street hustlers need to be moved on in shinjuku and roppongi, they are a damn nuisance and will not take a polite no for an answer, then you have to say it again to the next one 10 feet away and so on, some become agressive and threatening.

All they are doing is scouring the streets for victims to scam and rob.

People should be free to walk down the street without being hassled and annoyed by these low lifes.

As for the japanese touts they are polite and often give out info on the best deals for food or drinks using manners and respect, these traditional type business should be allowed to continue as i believe they are providing a service.

Shame some have ruined it for everyone but that is usually what happens when scum comes along.

2 ( +4 / -2 )


I love getting tissue...

I'll have to admit, the tissues do come in useful sometimes !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They just need to start deporting the people who try to screw over other people who go to their clubs and get "massages". The tissue people I don't mind. Oh and those guys who follow around girls for a block so they could recruit them, those guys need to go also!!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The African touts in Kabukicho are a menace and need to be removed. I was ignoring them walking along and one of them got tired of people ignoring him and reached out and took me by the shoulder. I shrugged him off, but I've never come to close to hitting someone in Japan, and it was completely unacceptable. The rest of them were little better, with one of them stepping into my path to try and bar my way.

The touts in Shinjuku aren't bad. They don't harass people and they're not noisy... however I did notice a few of the Kabukicho-looking types down there when I was there a month ago, and so maybe things are getting out of hand?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ the mexican...

Well if you want the police report... Go to the kabukicho koban... Thats where we were taken. Usually Africans are respectful and will just get out of the way... But there are a few groups, my girlfriend is Japanese, and thick/curvy.... Lol i guess its the "ideal bush dweller fantasy" lol...

There are usually alot of yells, and "hey baby" everywhere ... I mean its ok because if people arent hawking after your girl... You need a new girl...

But dude... Feeling on my girl? I'll slap the taste out your mouth...

Sorry mister mexicano , it didn't make global news... Or lol... Didnt even break the headlines of japantoday...

Again, i don't generalize a whole race based on 1 idiot's actions... I hope that is not where you were trying to take your argument. Lol

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Street solicitation of what?

If it's what I think it is, you just dial a number and...your pizza arrives with all the juicy toppings!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good to see Japan encouraging business as usual!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

CalvinMontBlanc: "I love the way all you freedom fighters want a good old fashioned harsh crack down."

Who's talking about a harsh crack down specifically on this issue? I for one have no problem with the solicitation at all, and as I sarcastically stated the politicians themselves won't follow any such laws when it comes to election time. The point some people are making is that there's not much point in creating laws if they are 'voluntary' and not punishable. You see this all the time in Japan. This and this new law is passed, but it's 'optional' or at least 'not punishable'. So what's the point? It can still be punishable and police take the 'soft approach' when dealing with the people who infringe on the law.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yeah, I've been harassed and followed by some pretty persistent bros on the streets, especially in Roppongi. One guy followed me all the way to the train station and up to the ticket gate, then said some vulgar stuff, laughed, and left. I don't mind people advertising their pub, but no means no!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

On one of the few unfortunate times I've found myself in Shinkuku, I was approached by a black man, complete with gold-chains and baseball cap with the tag still on it, using American hip-hop/gangster-rap street talk. "You Bro, let's check out da club, it's full o da young girls, know what I'm sayin, Bro?" It's hard to shake these guys off. I wish the government would do something about it, rather than make laws no-one here will follow. Same goes for the walking billboards blocking the footpaths.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Next on the agenda: Ban public propaganda / speaker trucks! Advertising trucks also included! Massive fines for noise pollution please!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The point some people are making is that there's not much point in creating laws if they are 'voluntary' and not punishable. You see this all the time in Japan.

I exaggerated for effect by saying "harsh crackdowns" but there is nothing wrong with laws that contain no provisions for punishment in a generally responsible society. We are not all children, and I for one do not want to be treated like one. All responsible people need is a little wake up call that says "Hey, this behavior is now illegal". Until enough people prove its not enough, then start with trips to the koban. Then fines. Then go up to community service. Then house arrest. Then jail.

There is no reason to begin with punishment except to say that one has no faith in society. Well, this is Japan. And most Japanese people prove everyday that there is reason enough to faith in this society on issues like this.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

curbing the activities of bar, eatery and karaoke parlor touts

What about those aggressive "scouts" who try to recruit young women to work in the sex industry? Last time I looked they were think as flies on the sidewalk in front of the Isetan dept store. Likewise for the north exit of Shibuya station.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good stuff! Sick and tired of the Nigerian Pirate solicitors of god knows what, hassling me while walking the street at night like I am so kind of fool looking to give away my money! Wake up! I don't pay of services I get free! I hope immigration also checks them out!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I like the tissue guys because In the 3 and a half years I have lived here I have never had to buy pocket tissues. I pick them up occasionally and my husband gets them on a daily basis. We have a drawer full of them and take a pack with us everywhere we go. As for the others..away with them I can understand some coupon or flyer that you can turn down but what I really hate are the guys with iPads in Nagoya with stuff about restaurants on them. They get paid for showing you restaurants in the area but they don't let you turn them down they will freaking follow you down the street trying to get you to stop and look at their iPad!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The J-cops need to pick up the Nigerian street hustlers and deport every last one of them as they are the lowest trash in all of africa and give a bad name to the rest of that continent. Even in the USA, Nigerians are a pain in the butt and are involved in all types of scams.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I went to Shinjuku when I visited Japan back in 2011. Luckly nobody bothered me while I was there.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

This is going to put a damper on the economy.

I can't believe the police have banned all those great lunch vans from my neighborhood, we used to have a choice of delicious Italian roast chicken, Indian curry, Haitian stuff, Jamaican stuff, Mexican tacos, etc....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

However, the new regulations will not carry a financial penalty if broken.

Guess what isn't going to happen?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

most Africans I have met here in Japan have been more educated than any if these crazy comments!

hahahahaha! oh wait...were you serious?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The africans in this area serve no beneficial purpose... trust me. LOL

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

If you ban them from one ward (Shinjuku) they will just move to Kinshicho, Ikebukuro and Roppongi. (They are already working in Shibuya, along Center-gai.) The ban needs to be extended to all the parts of the city with night life. Those Africans are tough, and many of them have had military training in their home countries. Drive them to desperation and I shudder to think what they might attempt. From what I've counted soliciting for casino bars, etc., in Shinjuku alone, I suppose they number in the dozens.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What amazes me is that some posters feel the need to impress us all with their knowledge of "vulgar" Japanese language.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think it's more geared towards the host clubs and the like's "catch" activities–that can be almost harassing at times–than inoffensive tissue hand-outs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Get Real@When did the Japanese government start issuing visas for the occupation of "street touts"? I've always played by the rules and not engaged in activities that weren't specified in my entry status. If these people are in fact economic refugees, then let them be trained for some sort of socially useful purpose. I have no objecting to their being in Japan -- I would even welcome them -- if they played by the same rules as everybody else.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Nigerians, etc..work because, drunk, old white Ex pats want?? Yes! They want cheap sex, booze, sex, drugs, etc..so these Africans already know what these $$$$ from the US embassy etc..want. If you are white, and happen to ne in Ropppongi at the wrong time, is it the fault of the Africans to confuse regular drunk white men who are at Nova, etc..and no $$ with those from Microsoft etc..and that DO have $$??

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I went to Shinjuku when I visited Japan back in 2011. Luckily no solicitors bothered me while I was there.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I can't believe thèse black guys can possibly be in Japan if it was not by sponsor trop yakuza...I remind that Japan is an island and that Japanese are very nationalist

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites