OSAKA (TR) – The word tachinbo literally means to stand for an unspecified length of time. However, it colloquially refers to a street walker.
In recent years, Osaka Prefectural Police have had their collective eye on one underground shopping area in Osaka City’s Kita Ward that is frequented by such prostitutes.
According to Kyodo News (Dec. 5), police rounded up 61 prostitutes between who were soliciting customers around the fountain at the Izumi no Hiroba in Umeda between May of last year and this past February.
The prostitutes — aged between 17 and 64 — hail from Kyoto, Osaka, Kagawa and other prefectures. Among them were a student, housewife, company employee, and a sex worker.
“I wanted money to cover living expenses,” one prostitute told police. Another said, “I had to repay debt.”
After each prostitute was released, she was sent to prosecutors. She was then ordered to pay a fine.
“I had to repay debt”
The area around Izumi no Hiroba has been extensively renovated over the past year. The work included the removal of the fountain. The work was commemorated with a reopening on Saturday.
For the prostitutes, a key element was the nearby love hotels.
“Since it is [a matter of] a deterioration in morals and public order, a crackdown was a long-standing issue,” an investigative source tells the news outlet.
That’s not all. In November of last year, police arrested a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate for charging the prostitutes fees known as mikajimeryo, or “protection money.”
According to police, the gangster charged each woman 5,000 yen per day. Over a five-month period, he collected 22.5 million yen.