On February 24, officers took managers Yuji Isa, 51, and Hiroaki Kato, 30, and two other employees of club Pippi, located in the Roppongi and Shinjuku entertainment areas, into custody for allowing female staff members to sit and serve at the same table as customers — a violation of the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses.
Pippi is a variation of a hostess club termed a “girl’s bar,” which are clubs legally registered as eating-and-drinking establishments that under the adult-entertainment law are not allowed to offer personal one-on-one companionship.
Pin-up models Asami Tada, 23, and Rio Natsume, 27, served as founders of the Roppongi branch, which opened last September and has netted revenues of 15 million yen. The Shinjuku outlet opened in August and has amassed 24 million yen in revenue.
“At the time of the raid, the Roppongi club was having a special ‘pin-up idol day,’” said a person affiliated with the investigation. “Four of the 10 gals in the club were idols. At the Shinjuku branch, a similar event was being held for AV actresses, who numbered five of the 13 girls present.”
Nikkan Gendai notes that in addition to the aforementioned idols Mai Koide is a staff member at the Roppongi branch. The Shinjuku club is staffed by AV actresses Nana Otone and Shoko Akiyama.
According to the operation’s Web site, which has since been taken down, both outlets offered an all-you-can-drink service starting at 5,000 yen for 60 minutes from 11:30 p.m.
AV writer Kazuo Kajiyama says that weak monthly earnings of between three and four million yen per branch forced management to escalate services whereby customers were able to sit next to the hostesses. “Tada, Koide, Otone, and Akiyama do not have real name value,” says the writer. “Natsume, however, does have a degree of popularity, but she had a baby last October. So she hasn’t been able to work. It is natural that things have declined.”
Kajiyama adds that customers are growing weary of girl’s bars and there have been numerous closings as a result. “Clubs offering AV actresses are popular,” he says. “But in the end it got to where the big-breasted actresses were offering glimpses of their nipples to maintain interest.”