TOKYO (TR) – The National Police Agency said on Thursday that next year it intends to carry out a nationwide investigation into the hundreds of illicit parlors employing school girls over fears of sexual abuse, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 15).
The target of the investigation, which was included in a draft plan to prevent the sexual exploitation of children, are so-called “JK” (joshi kosei) school girl businesses are feared to be a hotbed for child prostitution.
Such establishments typically employ high school girls to dress in bathing suits and uniforms while offering male customers massage and cuddling sessions. Unofficial menus include dating options.
Last month, Osaka Prefectural Police busted such a business operating in Naniwa Ward that masqueraded as a massage parlor but in actuality was providing sexual services.
A crackdown on JK businesses began several years ago. However, operators of the parlors frequently modify the surface of the business, such as claiming the female employees are providing counseling or making crafts, in order to evade a bust.
Data provided by the NPA indicates that there are between 300 and 400 JK businesses nationwide, the majority of which reside in Tokyo.
Local governments are expected to use the results of the investigation to enact legislation to better regulate the businesses.