Since the start of the second administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December, there has been a quick jump in stock prices and a slump in the value of the yen. As a result, some Japanese corporations are expected to pay their employees the largest average bonuses since the onset of the global financial crisis.
Yet, reports weekly tabloid Shukan Jitsuwa (Apr. 4), such developments are not being well received in the nation’s red-light quarters — not with “Abenomics” also including Japan possibly entering the tariff-eliminating Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The pact, which is unpopular with Japan’s agriculture industry as it would likely remove existing price subsidies, could negatively impact the sex industry, says the tabloid.
“The recession is still ongoing,” says a person working in the sex industry in Tokyo’s Kabukicho pleasure district. “Once Japan commits to the TPP, immigration regulations will be relaxed to some extent.”
When that happens, the employee says, there is a widespread fear that many illegal foreign workers will enter the country. “More foreign women will be going to red-light districts to work,” says the source.
In short, an influx of cheaper goods brought upon by the removal of tariffs will be followed by a steady stream of immigrants looking to strike it big.
“Japan has the most strict immigration polices in the world,” says a writer covering the fuzoku trade, which is the commercial sex biz. “If there is a relaxation of regulations, there will be an explosion of bars staffed by Philippine women.”
The writer adds that Japanese men have a weakness for Asian women and blondes with large breasts. “Intense competition will result,” says the writer, who compares the potential influx to the arrival of kurofune, or black ships, a term often used for a non-Japanese person or entity who holds a threatening marketing position. “The fuzoku and adult-entertainment industries are trembling with fear.”
That may be the case, says the tabloid, but that might not be the only problem for those industries.
“In Kabukicho now, Nigerian gangs and Columbians operate hostess and sex clubs,” says a different employee working in the red-light district. “With new players from other countries coming to the area, it is almost certain that there will be trouble, which is a concern at the moment for fuzoku joints.”
Whether Japan will participate in the TPP is not known. In any case, says Shukan Jitsuwa, the nation’s red-light districts are currently allied with farmers and fishermen in raising a “beacon of opposition.” (A.T.)
Source: “TPP sanka de gyakufu hisshi fuzoku gyokai ga tekishi shidashita Abe sori he no ‘hangyaku no noroshi,'” Shukan Jitsuwa (Apr. 4, page 45)