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Saitama hostess club employed 12-year-old girl

Night Lounge Next
Night Lounge Next
A rather pedestrian case of wrongful employment at a specialty hostess club in Saitama Prefecture has now turned into a shocking case of child endangerment, reports Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 2).

On March 13, officers arrested Yusuke Nakao, 28, the manger of “girl’s bar” Night Lounge Next, located in Kawagoe City, for employing a 17-year-old girl — a violation of the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses, which requires employees to be 18 or above.

Later, on March 31, Nakao was re-arrested on charges of violating child welfare laws for also employing a 12-year-old girl.

An investigator tells Nikkan Gendai that the club used the Smartphone app LINE to recruit female staff members seeking cash in exchange for work in the mizushobai trade, or nighttime entertainment biz. “Nakao said he thought the girl could have been under 18, but he didn’t think she was that young,” says the investigator in referring to the 12-year-old, who is a sixth-year elementary school student.

In order to serve customers, Japan’s child welfare laws stipulate that employees be over 15 years of age.

“While her 160-centimeter height is that of an elementary school student, she has a grown-up face,” says the investigator. “The bar opens at 8:00 p.m. and closes at 6:00 a.m. This girl would work a few hours from the opening.”

A girl’s bar is a variation of a hostess club in which the business is legally registered as an after-hours, eating-and-drinking establishment so as to avoid more strict regulations under the adult-entertainment law.

“The bar attracted customers with a lolicon fetish,” continues the investigator, in referring to men attracted to very young girls.

According the Nikkan Gendai, the elementary student, who worked while attired in clothes that made her look much older, learned how to apply make-up and mix drinks rapidly — in no time, she took on the appearance of a regular hostess.

For that area of Kawagoe, the hourly wage for a girl’s bar employee ranges between 1,400 and 2,000 yen, which, the tabloid says, is not bad pocket money for a student.

Possibly, the strangest aspect of the incident is the indirect endorsement given by her parents.

“Her home seemed to have some rather loose policies,” says the investigator. “A young girl does not return home until late at night and yet there is no sign that her parents went to the police.” (A.T.)

Source: “Tekihatsu gaaruzu baa de hataraita ‘o 6 shojo’ otonabita sugao,” Nikkan Gendai (Apr. 2)