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Tokyo cops crack down on ‘walking dates’ in Akihabara

Teenage girls are available for "walking dates" in the Akihabara area of Chiyoda Ward
Teenage girls are available for “walking dates” in the Akihabara area of Chiyoda Ward

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Monday initiated a patrol through the Akihabara district in response to concerns about sex crimes involving minors, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 16).

On Monday night, a team of 100 officers swept through the electronics shopping district, located in Chiyoda Ward, and took 10 girls under the age of 18 into protective custody on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. The initiative is the first of its kind in Japan.

In January, metropolitan police implemented a large crackdown on maid cafes and so-called joshi kosei (high-school girl) “reflexology” massage parlors. At such an establishment, many of which are in the Akihabara area, male customers are able to converse with the female attendants in private rooms. For additional charges, the patrons may receive massages and kisses.

Of particular interest to the police is the option a customer has to take a staff member off the premises on a “walking date,” referred to as osanpo, at a rate of approximately 5,000 yen for 30 minutes. In many cases, the jaunt will conclude with a sexual encounter inside a love hotel room.

In October, officers arrested Akira Shibetani, a resident of Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, on obscenity charges for paying 18,000 yen for the undergarments of the third-year high-school student during an osanpo excursion in Akihabara on April 22.