In early May, police in South Korea arrested several male suspects on suspicion of abetting prostitution by a minor.
As reported by Shukan Jitsuwa (June 4), the men had been running prominent advertisements aimed at young women, saying they could earn “big money” during short-term visits abroad.
The men supplied a 17-year-old South Korean high school student with a forged passport. They subsequently confessed to police that they had been paid 6.5 million Korean won for “recruiting” the girl — the equivalent of 550,000 Japanese yen — to work at a sex shop in Chiba City.
Earlier police had cracked down on several Korean “honban esute” in Saitama and Gunma prefectures. The girls working in the shops are said to be younger and prettier than ever.
From this it is clear that the drastic decline in value of the Korean won currency vis-à-vis the Japanese yen is proving an irresistible magnet to sex workers from that country.
“In South Korea, loan sharking has become a serious problem,” a Korean journalist tells Shukan Jitsuwa. “The money lenders force the girls to sign a contract by which they agree to engage in prostitution if they can’t pay back the loans.
“Last November a case was reported in which a girl working in a sex shop murdered he father and then committed suicide. At the beginning, she had only borrowed 200,000 yen.
“I suppose more of these women who are desperate to work off debts will be coming to Japan to sell their bodies,” the journalist remarked.
Growing unemployment in China has also impacted negatively on the local sex industry, and this is likely to drive more women here.
According to a source in the sex trade, small massage parlors have been springing up in Kanda, Shimbashi and Kinshicho, where salarymen can go for a late-night massage and nap until dawn for as little as 5,000 yen.
“In some places, the outlay of an additional 10,000 yen will get them a diligent full-course session including honban (the real thing, i.e., intercourse).”
With the economic meltdown spreading throughout Asia, it is likely more desperate foreign women will attempt to enter Japan for short-term stays, during which they rake in bundles of yen turning tricks.
The writer says he expects that the numbers of hookers from Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia will be increasing.
Source: “Nihon kokunai ni senjo suru ajian SEX yami bijinesu,” Shukan Jitsuwa (June 4, pages 223-225)