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Akihabara sleaze peddlers to be targeted in countdown to 2020 Olympics in Tokyo

Spa! Sept. 17-24
Spa! Sept. 17-24

Soon after the International Olympic Committee announced on Sunday that Tokyo would host the 2020 Olympic Games, Japan’s media began speculating on how the decision would impact the sex industry.

In the lead up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was jointly held with South Korea, Spa! says that a number of fuzoku (adult-entertainment) establishments were shut down by law enforcement.

The magazine expects the same this time around but with one exception. Though the Yoshiwara pleasure and Kabukicho red-light district have precedent for crackdowns, the electronics shopping paradise of Akihbara will feature prominently this time.

The editor of a manga title from a big-name publisher says that the area’s stores selling manga, anime, character goods and games whose themes are suggestive of child pornography are a distint problem.

“There will be a massive sweep through Akihabara,” predicts the editor of a manga title from a big-name publisher. “This is Japan’s biggest shopping area for electronics. Tourists and athletes will shop there.”

In stores selling adult comics, the walls are covered in posters and signs depicting naked children. “In video stores, there are love dolls of little girls visible through the shop windows from the street,” says the editor. “If tourists and athletes, especially those from Europe and the United States, see this kind of thing it won’t go over well at all.”

The magazine says action has already begun. In May, a revised law was submitted to the Diet that would prohibit the possession of child pornography. The amendment also intends to censor specific content in manga and anime that is considered harmful to society.

“With Tokyo getting the Olympics, it makes sense that this sort of content will be targeted,” explains the editor.

The area is also known for its so-called joshi kosei (high-school girl) “reflexology” massage parlors. The establishments, which are considered a hotbed of prostitution, have been cracked down upon this year. However, similar incarnations have taken their place, many of which feature young girls recruiting customers in the streets. The magazine thinks foreigners will “misunderstand” the circumstances and assume that minors are involved in sexual slavery.

Specific to his industry, the editor expects advertising posters inside shops selling adult comics, DVDs, goods and games to be banned. “But, you know, if it ends like this, we might want to consider ourselves lucky,” he says.

Source: “Tokyo gorin de akiba oojoka no nami kuru!?” Nikkan Spa! (Web)