OSAKA (TR) – A married couple was arrested on Wednesday for forcing girls under the age of 18 to perform sexual acts with customers at a so-called “JK” brothel masquerading as a counseling center where female employees are available for consultations.
Osaka Prefectural Police arrested Akito Kawai, 57, and his wife Kumi for allegedly forcing a 17-year-old high school student to meet with a 40-year-old man and perform sexual acts with him in a room of an apartment in Osaka in June, Sankei Sports reports (September 7).
The couple, who have been charged with violating child welfare laws, deny the charges, with Kawai claiming “this is completely different” while his wife said she “didn’t think it was illegal.”
The prostitution ring was brought to light after a parental guardian of another underage girl alerted police in March.
Short for joshi kosei, or high school girl, a JK business typically employs female students. For the operation run by the suspects, known as Shin-Osaka Girls’ High School, there were eleven rooms in the apartment residence as reception and consultation spaces for use by dozens of teenage girls who were hired online, police said.
Police are investigating a “hidden service” that allowed customers to engage in sexual acts with the girls after negotiating extra fees.
“Anti-aging through student counselors”
The shop’s web site, which warns visitors the establishment is “not a brothel,” offers customers “another chance at youth” and “anti-aging through student counselors” who are girls 15-18 years old.
Through a magic mirror, customers can choose from girls who provide “counseling from their pure perspective” to “reveal a side of you that you never knew you had.”
An undercover crew from Yomiuri TV, which had been covering the story for more than a year, followed a trio of school girls into the apartment residence, located in Higashiyodogawa Ward, where they ended up in a room with a sign that read “Shin-Osaka Girls’ High School.”
The crew was greeted by a male receptionist who was none other than Kawai, who explained that 6,000 yen buys 30 minutes with a school girl of their choice.
After choosing a girl from among 10 or so others in uniform who were sitting in a cramped room, the crew was led to a different room in the same building which had a sofa and television.
The girl immediately entered, and explained that she had been working there three times a week since dropping out of school.
The girls at the shop told the crew that nearly 100 girls were working there, many of whom were students on distance learning programs.
When a crew member asked about the counseling services advertised on the site, the girl laughed and said there were no such services, adding that she provided sexual services in exchange for cash.
The girls can keep all of the money they make, but the store profits from the “extension fees” the girls need to pay to receive it. The more the girls make, the more the store profits, the crew said.
Toru Okumura, a lawyer, warned that school girls face dangers in JK businesses because of higher risks of becoming victims of crime.
“The girls become victims of indecent assault or rape in some cases,” Okumura told Nippon News Network, “and there’s also the danger of stalkers if the girls trade personal details with customers for dates.”
A U.S. State Department report in 2014 said compensated dating “continues to facilitate the prostitution of Japanese children.”