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Korean hookers to continue flooding into Japan

Shukan Jitsuwa April 23
Shukan Jitsuwa April 23
Last week, South Korea’s Constitutional Court held the first public hearing to review the nation’s prostitution law.

According to the existing legislation, both sellers and buyers of sex are subject to up to one year in prison and a fine as high as 330,000 yen.

To protest the law, hundreds of prostitutes arrived in front of the courthouse in Seoul to attend the hearing. This follows a request for review lodged by a 41-year-old woman three years ago. The woman, who had been accused of selling sex for 14,000 yen, claims the law is a human-rights violation.

Shukan Jitsuwa (April 23), a regular chronicler of the activities of Korean prostitutes, predicts that many more are headed to the Land of the Rising Sun.

“Little by little, the 260,000 prostitutes in Korea” — as of 2003 — “are migrating abroad,” a writer specializing in the fuzoku (sex-related) trade says. “Among the locations, Japan is the most popular, making the nation awash in Korean prostitutes.”

In 2004, the Korean government passed the anti-prostitution law and shuttered a number of sex shops. Perhaps ironically, the law is intended to protect human rights, having been partly due to a fire in a brothel in North Jeolla Province that killed 14 prostitutes two years before.

With Seoul not being an option, many turn to Tokyo. According to the Korean government, there are 80,000 prostitutes abroad, with 50,000 of them in Japan.

“They come to Japan on a three-month visa,” says a person in the fuzoku trade. “By day, they may work as cleaning ladies but by night they turn to prostitution.”

The red-light districts of Uguisudani and Kabukicho are common working areas. The going rate was once up near 30,000 yen.

With supply overrunning demand, “the market price for their services has already eroded,” says the aforementioned fuzoku insider.

The trend is poised to continue. In February, a South Korean government report indicated that the unemployment rate among those aged between 15 and 29 was 11.1 percent in February, the highest figure in six years.

Lucky works as a 'delivery health' prostitutes in Uguisudani
Lucky works as a ‘delivery health’ prostitute in Uguisudani

“As a result, even elite women are among those struggling to find employment,” says a reporter in Seoul. “So earning income overseas as a prostitute becomes a quick and easy option.”

Between 2013 and 2014, Japan was the most popular destination for Koreans receiving overseas employment training, a separate government report said.

The appeal of Japan for Koreans goes beyond mere employment opportunities. “(Japan has) a culture of sophistication as far as fashion, and then there is also the influence of manga,” says the aforementioned reporter. “There is as well a sense of security in working in Japan, the nearest country.”

One other factor is also in play. “With plastic surgery, a Korean strong point, creating beautiful women, there is no doubt that this has influenced the explosion in those selling their body in Japan,” says the reporter. (K.N.)

Source: “Baishun tettei torishimari saishu dankai de Kankoku bijo ga Nihon ni tairyo ryunyu,” Shukan Jitsuwa (April 23, page 202)

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.


  1. Mike Mike April 16, 2015

    That’s a huge number of prostitutes. They should all be arrested and send them back to Korea.

  2. HVAC News (@HVACnews) HVAC News (@HVACnews) April 21, 2015

    Says mike, the dog

  3. Matthias Lehmann Matthias Lehmann April 29, 2015

    Hiding behind the “sole aim … to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese” is a pretty thin argument, especially when helping to spread incorrect information, unproven claims, and the use of derogatory terms.

  4. John John December 24, 2015

    That’s a sad statement. When you have to sell your body and dignity and the writer calls it easy.

  5. Unveiled Unveiled December 25, 2015

    Seems like a lot of speculating here. 50,000 women from Korea working as prostitutes in Japan? You can bet many of these women are engaged in other work and are ignorant of prostitution. Just like Japan and its bigots…put down others to appear great and wonderful.

  6. Pat Pat December 26, 2015

    So in other words, human trafficking of Korean women is booming in Japan. The victim-blaming here is repulsive, and I think it says a lot about Japanese society that this sort of racialized misogyny is considered “entertainment.”

  7. B.J. B.J. June 1, 2016

    The women selling it consider it entertainment, so why would anyone paying for the privilege of enjoying what they’re selling call it anything else? “Misogyny” is just a buzzword for any and everything a feminist crybully wants to ban women and men from doing consensually.

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