‘Coma’ bars targeting Caucasians in Roppongi

High Touch Town Roppongi
Disreputable bars near Roppongi Crossing (above) are targeting Caucasians

On March 17, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo issued a warning that “recommended that the embassy community avoid frequenting Roppongi bars and clubs in Tokyo due to a significant increase in reported drink-spiking incidents.” It went on to say that credit cards had been subsequently stolen or abused and suggested that American citizens might want to avoid drinking spots in the bustling nightlife area altogether.

Evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Mar. 27) reports from Roppongi and discovers that fraudsters affiliated with bars deemed “konsui,” meaning coma or deep sleep, are beginning to put Caucasians in their cross hairs.

“The easy targets are business elites, U.S. servicemen, and tourists who come to Roppongi to hit on girls,” relates “pink” journalist Yasuhiro Ebina. “A guy will be drinking at a particular shot bar. Then up comes a lady who will ask, ‘Why don’t we go to another place and have drink?’ The woman will usually be a Chinese national or from South America and capable of speaking English.”

From there, Ebina indicates, a fee for sex will be negotiated and the customer will wind up drinking a cocktail laced with sleeping powder. When the couple emerges from the venue, ostensibly to go to a hotel, he’ll begin to fall asleep.

“The woman will pretend to be hugging or supporting him, but in reality she is stealing his wallet,” confirms the journalist, who adds that the victim will then wake up in a park, alley or love hotel.

The daily goes on to say that the recession has caused many Japanese to stay away from Roppongi. This has led to a change in target for the konsui bars.

International columnist Kevin K. Ochi tells Gendai: “In the past, Caucasians were rarely targeted. So Americans felt less vulnerable. So as a result, it is natural now that the number of victims should rise.”

The tabloid then chimes in to indicate that the source of this problem is with an attitude of invincibility on the part of Americans that is a leftover of the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945-52).

Source: “Roppongi konsui bar kowai teguchi,” Nikkan Gendai (Mar. 27)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.

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