TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 21-year-old man for allegedly recruiting male customers, including a city councilor, for a teenage prostitute last year, reports TV Asahi (Aug. 22).
According to police, Yuryuto Yamashita allegedly forced the girl, aged 13 at the time, to live at the residence of an acquaintance while he solicited customers for her via a smartphone application.
In one case, the suspect dispatched the girl, whom he met at a costume-themed event, to meet a male company employee from Yokohama, aged in his 30s, to perform acts deemed obscene in September of last year.
Yamashita, who has been accused of violating the anti-child prostitution law, denies the allegations. “Prostitution was not my intention,” the suspect was quoted by the Ayase Police Station. “She only lived at my friend’s place.”
One of the customers of the girl was Issei Miura, a councilman for Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture. In June, police alleged he paid 30,000 yen her to engage in acts deemed obscene at his residence while knowing she was a minor.
Miura rose to fame after being elected to office in April of 2015 as a member of what was then the Japan Innovation Party at the age of 26, the lowest age ever for a person to become a councilor in the prefecture. He has since been released in the case involving the girl.