TOKYO (TR) – On April 1, Fukuoka Prefecture became the eighth administrative district in Japan to institute strict regulations on the sex-industry information booths that populate red-light districts, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Apr. 2).
The prefectural public safety commission now prohibits the guide spots, which offer information that directs potential customers to various sex-related establishments, from being located in the vicinity of schools and hospitals.
A grace period will be in effect until April 30. After that day, violators will be subject to a minimum fine of 500,000 yen and maximum prison sentence of six months.
The number of such establishments in Fukuoka Prefecture numbered 30 on March 31, 2010. Over the next 24 months, the figure rose to 44, which is the fourth highest total in Japan, following Tokyo, Osaka, and Hiroshima.
On the evening of April 1, 36 officers from the prefectural police entered the 33 guide locations in the Nakasu red-light district of Fukuoka City to confirm that signboards were not overly suggestive and, according to the Nishi Nippon Shimbun (Apr. 2), to ensure that placards prohibiting minors from entry were in place.
Kimio Nakagawa, the section chief of the community safety department of Fukuoka Prefecture, says that advertising that sexually charged photos can be a negative influence on young people. “The booths are also a source of funding for organized crime,” says the chief. “We wish to endeavor to provide a suitable environment for adult-entertainment.”