Firm demand makes trade in porn DVDs lucrative in Japan

Hidefumi Takahashi
Hidefumi Takahashi
Earlier this month, Tokyo Metropolitan Police raided the office and factory of a mail order business in Shinjuku Ward that produced uncensored porn DVDs.

Officers took manager Hidefumi Takahashi, 60, and five other male and female suspects into custody for possessing obscene media with intent to sell.

The operation, which shipped DVDs nationwide, was housed inside three rooms in an office building. Officers also seized 110,000 DVDs from the premises. Takahashi began the business 18 years ago. Over that period, annual sales averaged 60 million yen.

Fuzoku writer Taizo Ebina is not surprised. The sex trade specialist tells Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 7) that demand is such that a little money can be made on the side by just about anyone.

With the discs selling for between 270 and 400 yen each, Nikkan Gendai says the profit margin in the trade is very attractive. Ebina explains how it works.

“The standard business model is for traders to pick up their content on file-sharing sites like Winny,” says the writer. “They will also download files from adult sites.”

Up to this point, a trader’s outlay is zero, at least if one’s time is excluded.

“A blank DVD goes for 50 yen,” he continues. “So, if that disc (with content) can then be sold for, say, 300 yen, that represents a profit of 250 yen.” Ebina adds that nowadays the sending of SD cards through the postal mail is on the rise.

As to just who is partaking in the trade, that could be anyone, says Ebina: from bachelors to office workers at major and small companies. Certainly, this is a side business, with most traders not making more than 100,000 yen per month.

Lolicon features sell well as that genre is strictly regulated (by law enforcement),” says Ebina, referring to films featuring older men and very young girls. “Older films with middle- and high-school girls are the most popular.”

Another approach is to hire an amateur for an illicit photo session. Even though a two-hour rental will require upwards of 15,000 yen, footage of the action could be sold for 1,000 yen per disc.

As to Takahashi, he was a big fish in the minds of the cops. For the others, law enforcement is not a concern. “The small-time traders are not on the radar,” says Ebina. (A.T.)

Source: “500manen arakasegi ‘waisetsu DVD’ hanbai no poroi shobai,” Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 7)

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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