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Tokyo cops crack down on 5 Akihabara maid cafes for operating without licenses

TOKYO (TR) – Over the past few months, Tokyo Metropolitan Police have been busting maid cafes in Chiyoda Ward for operating without licenses, reports the Asahi Shimbun (May 20).

According to police, five such cafes, located near JR Akihabara Station, have been cited since April for operating without permission under the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses.

The latest bust was of La Chere. Police have arrested six persons connected to the cafe, including Yosuke Kawakami, the 47-year-old manager. During questioning, he admitted to being the manager.

Female employees at La Chere dressed in maid costumes (Twitter)

Police allege that female employees, dressed in costumes, at La Chere provided male customers with service not permitted under its registration as a bar or restaurant with the public safety commission.

Under the adult-entertainment law, bars and restaurants can only remain open until 1:00 a.m. Police believe the five cafes regularly remained open after that time — often until 5:00 a.m. — dating back up to three years.

Customers at La Chere purchased carbonated drinks (typically priced at 200 yen) for up to 7,000 yen. They were allowed to stay in the cafe and chat with the female employees until they finished the drink.

Police believe that many cafes in Akihabara violate the same law.