TOKYO (TR) – In a sweep of school girl massage parlors, Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Sunday searched 17 establishments where girls under 18 years of age are believed to be in intimate contact with customers, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 27).
Officers from the juvenile affairs division searched the parlors, which offer customers the opportunity to sleep next to or embrace the body of a school girl, in entertainment districts in the Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, and Akihabara areas on suspicion of violations related to the Labor Standards Act regarding harmful employment.
According to TV Asahi (Jan. 28), 76 of the 115 female employees working at the parlors were minors. The youngest employee was 16 years old.
No arrests were announced following the raids, which police are considering to be a nationwide first. Officers, however, are building cases against the managers of the establishments.
Often described with the term “JK,” which is a shortened version of joshi kosei (or high-school girl), the parlors began to increase in Akihabara last spring, according to Sports Nippon (Jan. 28). The total number of establishments in the metropolis is believed to be approximately 80.
Many of the establishments promote their reflexology services, which includes foot massages. Among those searched was Soineya (meaning “sleeping together cafe”), located in Akihabara, where a customer can have a girl sleep on his arm for three minutes; pet her head; stare at her; make her to change clothes; and get her to provide a foot massage — each of which requires a fee of 1,000 yen.
Investigators suspect that the nature of the business, which is carried out in private rooms partitioned by a curtain, is in violation of the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses and may also be leading to the administration of prostitution services. “This is a problem regarding the sound development of children,” a representative from the juvenile affairs division is quoted.