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Soapland in Yoshiwara busted for prostitution; yakuza funding suspected

Shigemitsu Kawamura of Club Amour in Yoshiwara
Shigemitsu Kawamura of Club Amour in Yoshiwara (Twitter)
TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have busted a venerable soapland bathhouse in Taito Ward on suspicion of providing prostitution. The operation is believed be a source of income for organized crime, reports TBS News (July 5).

Between May and June, Shigemitsu Kawamura, the manager of parlor Club Amour, located in the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter of Taito Ward allegedly employed a female masseuse to serve a male customer while knowing she was providing honban, or full sex, which is a violation of the Anti-Prostitution Law.

Police arrested four other employees in the case. All of the suspects admit to the allegations, according to police.

Club Amour has been operating in Yoshiwara for 20 years. During that time, it is believed to have accumulated 2 billion yen in earnings. Police are now investigating whether a portion of that amount was funneled to a criminal syndicate.