OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Tuesday announced the bust of a specialty parlor in Yodo Ward for allegedly employing girls under 18 years of age to provide massages to customers in private rooms, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (May 13).
Officers took Takaharu Maesaka, 48, the manager of Youthful Maid Hand Massage, and two other employees for violating child welfare laws regarding harmful control of an employee.
Youthful Maid Hand Massage is a so-called joshi kosei (high-school girl) “reflexology” massage parlor.
In once case, a second-year high school girl dressed in a miniskirt provided massages to male customers wearing only disposable underpants between December of last year and March.
The bust is the first of its kind in Japan. Previously, similar activities had fallen under the Labor Standards Act regarding restrictions on hazardous work.
The manager utilized a camera installed in a standby room to monitor the girls, who were fined 500 yen if they arrived to work 30 minutes late. Fines of between 1,500 and 5,000 yen were applied to employees who missed an entire day.
Maesaka denies the charges, saying that the camera was not in place for the purpose of controlling employees. “I was protecting against embezzlement of funds,” the suspect is quoted by police. The other two suspects have admitted to the allegations.
Youthful Maid Hand Massage employed seven high school girls from multiple areas, including Osaka and Hyogo and Nara prefectures. Police became aware of the club’s employment practices via an anonymous tip last September.