On August 28, Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested an 18-year-old female prostitute working in the Shibuya entertainment area of Tokyo for the alleged strangulation of a three-month-old infant the year before.
The arrest, says Shukan Jitsuwa (Sept. 18), brings to a close a sad case, one that highlights the dark side of the “delivery health” industry, which includes shops that dispatch prostitutes to customers waiting at hotels or residences.
The suspect shared an apartment in the Dogenzaka district with the mother of the victim and another 18-year-old, both of whom were also prostitutes.
On November 1 at around 7:00 a.m., the other 18-year-old arrived home to find the infant lying near the suspect with her heart stopped.
The baby was taken to a hospital but soon after was pronounced dead. A court-ordered autopsy revealed that the victim died from strangulation, possibly by a cord.
“The apartment served as a waiting room,” says a reporter for a national paper. “Both of the 18-year-olds took care of the baby while her mother was out with customers.”
After the incident, two young girls found photographs taken with an instant camera in the trash can of a convenience store near the apartment in which the two prostitutes could be seen covering the mouth of the baby.
On November 15, Tokyo police arrested both women on charges of assault.
“During questioning afterward, she (the prostitute found in the room with the victim) admitted to the killing,” an investigator tells Shukan Jitsuwa. “Since security camera footage showed that she was the only one in the room, she was subsequently charged with murder.”
The murder suspect arrived in Tokyo last year, and soon after took up work in the fuzoku trade, or commercial sex industry. She moved into the apartment in August of last year.
The manager of another delivery health operation says that it is not unusual for prostitutes living with a baby to engage in fighting.
“Some girls just can’t take the stress,” says the manager. (A.T.)
Source: “18sai deri heru-jo ga yoji wo kosatsu shita Shibuya Dogenzaka ‘taiki heya,’” Shukan Jitsuwa (Sept. 18, pages 218-219)