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Tokyo cops round up street touts over aggressive soliciting in Ueno

Toshihiro Uemori (left) and Shinichi Kaneko
Toshihiro Uemori (left) and Shinichi Kaneko (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested six street touts over the alleged aggressive solicitation of pedestrians in the Ueno area of Taito Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 19).

Between August 2 and September 5, Toshihiro Uemori, 33, Shinichi Kaneko, 37, and four other persons are alleged to have aggressively solicited pedestrians for kyabakura (or hostess club) establishments in the Yushima entertainment district and near JR Ueno Station.

All of the suspects, who have been accused of violating a public nuisance ordinance, admit to the allgegations.

According to police, the suspects tailed pedestrians for more than 70 meters in attempting to lure them into the establishments.

The touts were paid a commission of between 20 and 30 percent of the amount the customer spent inside the club. Monthly income for each tout averaged between 500,000 and 600,000 yen. “Since I earned enough income by working only once or twice a week, I did it,” one of the suspects was quoted.