TOKYO (TR) – Though they offer full sex and money changes hands, soapland bathhouses are very rarely busted for prostitution.
When it does happen, one question is always asked: Why?
In the case of Kameari Kadoebi, which was cited last month, the raid was due to a complaint lodged by a customer, reports evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Aug. 29).
As previously reported, police accused 39-year-old manager Daisuke Sakamoto and four other persons of employing a masseuse in her 30s to provide full sex to a male customer on June 20 and 23.
Police allege that the suspects knew the sessions would be construed as a violation of the anti-prostitution law.
Upon his arrest, Sakamoto denied the charges. “This is how we do business,” the suspect was quoted by police.
He pays her separately
For the uninitiated, a bathhouse will use a loophole to evade being busted for prostitution. A customer arriving at an establishment pays a bathing fee in a private room.
After his session with the masseuse is complete, he then pays her separately, a transaction not recognized by the establishment. (For details on how the business model is viewed under the law, check here.)
Kadoebi has 31 establishments in the Kanto area. The Kameari Kadoebi outlet, located just minutes on foot from JR Kameari Station, has 54 women on staff, aged between 21 and 46.
“They tried to blackmail him”
The origin of the bust of the outlet took place in February, when a male customer got into a dispute with a masseuse.
“He took voyeur footage of the session with his smartphone,” an investigator tells the tabloid. “The employees who knew about it got angry. They then tried to blackmail him. He got scared and came to us.”
After questioning the suspects, police plan to further accuse them of extortion.
With Kameari Kadoebi now closed, harsh business conditions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak have now been made worse, Gendai says.