On April 1, Japan implemented its first consumption tax jump since 1997 — a move that has caused concern due to uncertainties over its long-term impact on the economy.
To combat a fall in consumer spending, some businesses have implemented countermeasures — such as vows to hold prices constant — prior to the implementation of the hike, which pushed the tax on purchases from five to eight percent.
Over the past year, the tabloid, which itself raised its cover price from 130 to 140 yen, has indicated that the industry is undergoing a bi-polarization phase, a phenomena that will not change, says Akira Ikoma, editor of a guide to the men’s entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey).
“High-end and mid-level shops will boost prices,” says the editor, “but the deep-discount joints will maintain their current pricing.”
Ikoma predicts that while the industry will suffer through a period of hard times during April and May sentiment will turn positive thereafter. “Human desire is continual,” he says. “They’ll return.”
In recent times, the industry has been engaged in a price war. With the tax rise, some shops will use the measure as a reason to boost prices, which will put more pressure on working gals to attract customers.
“The number of gals working at multiple shops will rise,” says Ikoma. “Also set to increase is the number of ‘delivery health‘ call girls (typically supplying only oral and hand services) who take tips under the table for honban (full sex).”
Services will also shift, says Tokyo Sports. Instead of selling sex as a package, which may include, for example, a blow-job session and a form of non-penetrative intercourse, there will be an option for the customer to select just one — and pay only for that.
The editor suggests that it be thought of as a bento boxed lunch, whereby you pay just for the food items you wish to eat. “With the unneeded service removed, customer satisfaction will be met at a reasonable price,” he says.
These kinds of places encourage repeaters, he says: “It is set to go mainstream.” (K.N.)
Source: “Shohezei appu de fuzoku gyokai ha kou kawaru,” Tokyo Sports (Apr. 1)
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