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Bust of Akihabara dating club raising concerns

Friday Aug. 24-31
Friday Aug. 24-31
The July arrest of the manager of a “girl’s bar” in the Akihabara district of Tokyo for employing underage girls is raising eyebrows regarding youth safety, reports Friday (Aug. 24-31).

Koichiro Fukayama, 44, the manager of girl’s bar AKB162, was taken into custody for violating the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses regarding the employment of minors. Three girls, one aged 15 and two aged 16, were also put under police protection.

A girl’s bar is a variation of a hostess club in which the club is legally registered as an after-hours, eating-and-drinking establishment so as to avoid more strict regulations under the adult-entertainment law. A bar or cafe appearance is provided while near night-club services are rendered. Employing a person under the age of 18 is illegal under these conditions.

At AKB162, male customers were able to take the girls off the premises for dating after additional fees have been paid. One girl was reportedly earning 30,000 yen a day. Massages are common requests.

“While most guys took the girls out to restaurants or game arcades, in some cases they went to karaoke boxes, where the intimate setting could lead to serious consequences,” an owner of a maid cafe says. “Given that these girls lack an ability to assess risk, it makes me nervous.”

The shops will explicitly promote the fact that they employ high school girls and refer to the outside dates as osanpo (to take a walk) or “guide” options.

The process starts with a male customer choosing a girl based on a selection of photos. Entry fees start at 6,000 yen per hour. Additional payments then allow the customer to take a girl outside the Akihabara vicinity, perhaps on a drive or to the man’s home.

At these times, most girls wear their street clothes, not the uniforms they sport in the shops. Friday says that this makes it hard to distinguish whether a date is compensated or not. This can then lead to cases where some girls offer sexual services for quick cash.

“Some girls have sponsors,” says the same cafe owner. “It is something our industry is looking at. The girls might offer hand-jobs at karaoke boxes or go to love hotels.”

The magazine’s writer went to a reflexology shop that offers the osanpo option. While a receptionist informs customers that sexual services are prohibited, taking a girl to a private room is not off limits. The reporter chose Ami, a 16-year-old freshman.

“Where do you usually go to for a walk?”

“Giving a massage in a karaoke box is popular,” she says. “You know, where a customer can be alone with a girl.”

“Any concerns about a grown man being seen walking with a young girl?”

“It’s no problem. I know it would look shady in many places but not in Akihabara, where it is mainstream.”

When the reporter asked about taking a patron to a karaoke box, Ami says, “We will have just met, so if we get to know each other, it is possible.”

“What do you mean?”

“It means you’ll have to visit the shop quite a few times.”

“How far will you go?”

“No sex, but a hand-job is fine.”

Kana, an 18-year-old working at another shop, shared her history of enjo kosai, a euphemism for prostitution, with the writer.

“How far do you go?”

“Blow- and hand-jobs go for 10,000 yen, but I don’t offer full sex anymore.”


“I joked with a customer once that full sex costs 100,000 yen, and he went ahead and requested it. We did it three times, but this got back to the shop, and I got fired.”

A source in law enforcement explains that Tokyo’s laws regarding dating clubs prohibit the facilitation of date matching involving minors for financial reward.

“If sexual acts occur during the course of business, this constitutes a violation of the (nationwide) adult-entertainment law,” says the source. “Should the shops promote osanpo and guide services as a means of disguising illegal activities, we need to start cracking down.” (K.N.)

Source: “Kokuhatsu! Akihabara JK maruhi kurabu no kiken na koshitsu eigyo,” Friday (Aug. 24-31, pages 74-75)