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Osaka prostitution service masqueraded as dating business

OSAKA (TR) – Last week, Osaka Prefectural Police arrested 24 persons in the bust of a dating service operating Osaka City that was in actuality providing women to serve as prostitutes.

Sources tell evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Nov. 6) that the deai-kei (matchmaking) service was an extensive operation that spanned the city.

Among the suspects are managers Takuya Okawa, 26, Tomoaki Nakamura, 27, and Ryuichi Sadahiro, 23, who presided over three satellite offices that covered a total five districts. Okawa oversaw the Kyobashi Group, which included Miyakojima and Joto wards, and Nakamura and Sadahiro headed the Tenma group (Kita Ward) and Dotonbori group (Chuo and Naniwa), respectively.

An investigative source tells Gendai the three offices were primarily inside residences, each equipped with computer terminals that enabled male customers to use social-networking services to communicate with women supposedly interested in a type of relationship known as enjo kosai, or compensated dating. However, employees of the operation would pose as the women in communicating with the customers.

Takuya Okawa
Takuya Okawa (Twitter)

“Always near a love hotel”

“[The employees] responded with the time and place to meet,” says the source. “The meeting place was almost always near a love hotel. The employees then dispatched a prostitute [on the roster]. An image that gave a rough idea of her face was also sent [to the customer]. After the session ended, the customer paid the prostitute 20,000 yen, which was split evenly between her and the operation.”

In June, police first shut down a group that operated in Abeno Ward. The subsequent investigation led to the arrests last week. “The prostitutes were aged in their 20s and 30s,” continues the investigative source. “They also recruited their friends.”

There was no contact between the customers and the employees. As well, the prostitutes never visited the offices. “As a means of caution, the employees visited the prostitutes to collect the money directly.”

The source adds that Okawa, Nakamura and Sadahiro did not come across as gang members or delinquents. “They had management behind them,” adds the investigative source. “Of course, yakuza were possibly supporting the operation.”