KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have busted a so-called “companion” service based in Odawara City for allegedly dispatching two high school girls to banquets earlier this year, reports Fuji News Network (Aug. 30).
On three occasions in April, the co-heads of the service, Sumio Nagai, 72, and Kumiko Suzuki, 62, allegedly dispatched the two girls, one of whom was 16, to banquets at a hotel in the town of Hakone while knowing they were minors.
Such a service sends female employees to events to serve as servers and entertainers. At the events in Hakone, the girls served alcohol and performed karaoke as a duet, the Odawara Police Station said.
The suspects, who have been accused of violating the Labor Standards Act, admit to the allegations.
According to police, the suspects instructed the girls to claim that they were over the age of 20 if questioned during the assignments.
Police are now investigating whether the suspects also employed other girls under the age of 18 for similar work.