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Tokyo ‘tea’ club seeking seniors via newspaper ads busted for prostitution

Kiyohide Kuroda
Kiyohide Kuroda

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday announced the bust of a “tea” club that sought senior citizens through newspaper advertisements on prostitution charges, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Oct. 8).

On October 8, officers arrested Kiyohide Kuroda, the 70-year-old manager of club San Ai (Three Loves) after a 67-year-old male office worker allegedly met a female (65) at a coffee shop in Shinjuku Ward for illicit activities in violation of the Anti-Prostitution Law.

Over a 10-year-period, the manager placed daily advertisements in the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper and two other publications seeking men and women interested in meeting up for tea.

“In order to give the impression that the service was not an adult-entertainment club, we were said to be ‘introducing tea-drinking companions,'” Kuroda is quoted by police. “I thought people seeking prostitution would understand the real meaning.”

According to the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 8), Three Loves, which is based in Katsushika Ward’s Shin Koiwa area, has 1,000 men and 350 women registered as members. The females are typically around 60 years of age with the most senior member being 82.

To join, an initial fee of 5,000 yen is required. There are no further charges for a simple encounter, but men wishing to partake in prostitution must also pay between 20,000 and 25,000 yen per session.

The Tokyo Shimbun received approximately 42,000 yen each month in advertising fees.

“The advertisements were reviewed through our standard procedure,” said a representative of the Tokyo headquarters of the Chunichi Shimbun, which publishes the Tokyo Shimbun, “and a business ‘seeking tea-drinking companions’ is acceptable from a publishing point of view. It is indeed unfortunate that (the ads) were used for criminal purposes. From now, we will administer great care in our inspection process.”