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Election spurs erections, no pun intended

Shukan Shincho Sept. 10

It didn’t take the tabloid media long to put its own original spin on the landslide victory by the Democratic Party of Japan on August 30.

Shukan Shincho (Sep. 10) reports on some of the ways the sex industry took advantage of political excitement in the runup to last Sunday’s general election.

A “relaxation pub” in Aichi Prefecture, for example, offered a discount to customers who showed up bearing a tohyozumi-sho (vote completion certificate) as proof that they had exercised their civic duty.

“We got a decent response,” says the shop’s operator. “There were quite a few customers who had arranged to vote one day earlier.”

An erotic massage establishment in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district — where both party leaders Taro Aso and Yukio Hatoyama exhorted voters atop sound trucks on the campaign’s final day, August 29 — informed customers they would waive the shimei-ryo charge for selecting one’s favorite masseuse if they gave the correct “password” at the reception. The password for the month of August was “general election.”

“During the campaign we were offering a special discount, but this does not imply we were supporting any particular party,” says the operator of a “delivery health” (out-call sex service) based in Tachikawa City. “The way I figured, if customers saw what we posted on our home page and laughed at how silly it was, they’d remember our name — and that would bring in more business, which is fine by us.”

Just as political party bosses wracked their brains to come up with a “manifesto” that would appeal to the voters, it would seem that promoting the sex business also demands creativity and imagination.

“I still have fresh memories of sex shops posting signs reading, ‘Tax rebate special — 60 minutes for 12,000 yen,'” an unnamed writer for the “pink” trade tells Shukan Shincho. “That’s because a catchy phrase can boost sales. It proves that sex businesses know how to grab an opportunity when they see one.”

Source: “‘Minshu assho’ ni binjo shita fuzoku ‘seiken dasshu,'” Shukan Shincho (Sept. 10, page 151)