The Tokyo Reporter

Poke her? Hold ’em: Japan’s sex industry sours on legalized casinos

Ore no Tabi November

After more than a decade of lobbying, a group of Japanese lawmakers intends to submit a bill to the Diet during the current session that will legalize casinos.

Should the measure succeed — and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a staunch supporter — Tokyo, which was awarded the 2020 Olympic Games in September, would be a likely choice to host a gambling establishment.

The economic results of the establishment of casinos are expected to reach a number of different sectors. Tokyo Sports (Nov. 7) delves into what may lie ahead for the adult-entertainment industry.

Akira Ikoma, editor of a guide to men’s entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), tells the evening tabloid that while the idea may at first seem appealing enthusiasm within the industry is low.

Certainly, it is true that gambling and sex go hand in hand.

“Look at Macau,” says the editor. “They’ve got their own versions of soapland bathhouses.”

A fuzoku writer, which is to say one who covers the sex industry, adds that both winners and losers are interested in erotic endeavors after wagering at the tables.

“For winners, they want to celebrate,” says the writer. “For losers, they want to relieve stress.”

It is speculated that for Tokyo a logical location for a casino is the man-made peninsula of Odaiba. Osaka and Okinawa are also considered candidates.

So won’t the sex industries in these areas be cheering for passage of the bill? Not exactly.

Ikoma says that high-end “delivery health” out-call sex operations in the vicinity of any newly established venues are likely attract the well-to-do and foreign tourists. On the flip side, however, law enforcement has already started cracking down on sex clubs and affiliated businesses in entertainment areas in preparation for the Olympics.

Further, there is another complication, at least for those from abroad: honban (coital intercourse) is technically illegal, though such services are rendered via a tacit understanding between operators of soapland establishments and police.

“They can legalize casinos,” says Ikoma, “but honban (at clubs and shops) will remain in violation of the law.” (K.N.)

Source: “Fuzoku gyokai sonnani yorokobenai ‘kajino suishin hoan,” Tokyo Sports (Nov. 7, page 3)

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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