Tokyo times: Legislation to limit perusal of Ginza pussy

Shukan Post Nov. 18
Shukan Post Nov. 18
On a typical evening at 1 a.m., the lights in the Ginza club district start to dim, but standing out will be at least one brightly lit pet store, in which a number of dogs and cats can be viewed by passersby, typically bar hostesses and their customers. However, reports weekly tabloid Shukan Post (Nov. 18), these late-night shops will be the subject of new regulations to reduce abuse beginning next year.

On October 31, the Ministry of the Environment announced new guidelines that will ban the exhibition of pet commodities during late hours. Set to start next June, the legislation aims to prohibit the display of cats and dogs after 8 p.m.

In Tokyo, late-night shops are common in the entertainment areas of Ginza, Roppongi, and Shinjuku. Most of their visitors after midnight are hostesses in flashy make-up and outfits who wonder aloud how ownership can be attained.

“I visit here after I’ve dealt with particularly difficult customers or simply felt fatigued,” a 25-year-old hostess tells the tabloid as she locks her eyes on a Chihuahua, priced at 250,000 yen. “By looking at them, I can feel a soothing feeling. I will feel sad if I don’t get to see them.”

A 38-year-old hostess, accompanied by a customer, realizes that it is tough on the animals. “But it is nice to be able to see them as we deal with issues or situations that cannot be simply shared with others,” she says.

She then asks her companion to buy one for her.

“While they provide soothing moments, it’s temporary,” explains a 48-year-old bar mama-san. “For the sake of the animals, it should be regulated.”

Incidents of hostesses receiving poodles as gifts from their patrons and then returning them quickly for cash, a process known as “pet recycle,” are common in the entertainment areas of Tokyo and Osaka.

The article notes that these types of cases are the basis for the Ministry’s action, but adds that most shops that operate have not come up with a concrete strategy for navigating the new mandate.

The hostesses, too, are a concern, says Shukan Post: With the soothing smiles of dogs and cats set to fade from the night-life scene, where will the girls turn in search of relief? (A.T.)

Source: “Inu neko shoppu no ‘shinya tenji kinshi’ wo Ginza no hosutesu ni kiitemitara,” Shukan Post (Nov. 18, pages 141-142)

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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