For years, economists in Japan have been predicting that the nation’s rapidly aging population will have dire consequences in the coming decades.
It was not surprising then that Diet member Motohisa Furukawa on Thursday said, during a Budget Committee meeting of the Lower House, that it is necessary to debate the issue of foreign immigration from the standpoint of the future well-being of the nation.
Evening tabloid Tokyo Sports (Feb. 15) points out that immigration has posed a number of problems in Great Britain and France, indicating that foreigners entering low-paying professions has lead to poverty and civic unrest.
For Japan, the tabloid foresees many immigrants entering the sex industry.
Akira Ikoma, editor of a guide to the men’s entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), says the situation will be similar to that depicted in the recent NHK documentary “I can’t see tomorrow,” which showed that the fuzoku trade is a “safety net” for a growing number of women in poverty.
“Since they are in a state of hopelessness, there is no doubt they’ll flow into the sex trade,” says Ikoma of future immigrants.
Of course, the editor adds, there is already a great number of women employed in the world’s oldest profession, including those from other parts of Asia and South America. “There are brokers bring the women in from their countries,” says Ikoma. “Because of these existing conditions, underground activities will emerge.”
Specifically, the editor foresees cases where “snack” hostess clubs will allow customers to take women off the premises.
“This kind of thing will not take place in metropolitan areas,” says Ikoma. “It will emerge in rural areas.”
The editor does not believe this will be a positive development from a consumer point of view. “Right now, there is no interest in features in magazines on foreigners,” says Ikoma. “For whatever reason, Japanese sex workers convey a sense of security.”
However, it may be a moot point. A government insider tells Tokyo Sports that there is little interest among politicians to allow more foreigners into Japan. (A.T.)
Source: “Nihon ga imin wo ukeiretara ura fuzoku ga kasseika?” Tokyo Sports (Feb. 15, page 3)