Earlier this month, Osaka Prefectural Police raided a so-called joshi kosei (high-school girl) “reflexology” massage parlor in Yodo Ward for allegedly employing minors to provide massages to customers in private rooms.
Officers cited Takaharu Maesaka, 48, the manager of Youthful Maid Hand Massage, and two other employees for violating child welfare laws regarding harmful control of an employee.
The bust is the first of its kind in Japan, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (June 5), which says that similar activities had previously fallen under the Labor Standards Act regarding restrictions on hazardous work.
Dressed in miniskirts, the girls provided massages to male customers wearing only disposable underpants.
Further, the manager utilized a camera installed in a standby room to monitor the girls, who were fined 500 yen if they arrived to work 30 minutes late. Fines of between 1,500 and 5,000 yen were applied to employees who missed an entire day.
A local news reporter says the manager’s strict pressure placed upon his employees led to the charges. “Nowadays, these parlors are increasingly offering sex services ‘off the menu’ like a regular fuzoku joint,” says the reporter. “It seems these kinds of busts will increase.”
Police became aware of Youthful Maid Hand Massage’s employment practices via an anonymous tip last September.
A former employee tells Shukan Jitsuwa that the treatment received by the employees was harsh. “If an employee does not supply ‘off the menu’ services, she is fined,” says the source. “When a girl joins the parlor she has to promise she will not join a competitor. If she quits, she is fined. If she doesn’t pay the fine, she accumulates debt to the parlor.”
Of course, common sense dictates that an employee need not abide by such absurd rules, but, says the ex-employee, the manager takes advantage of inexperienced kids. “A high-school girl doesn’t know about much of anything,” says the employee.
According to the ex-employee, such practices are not restricted to Youthful Maid Hand Massage; there are, in fact, a lot of bottakuri (rip-off) parlors that institute similar tactics.
Shukan Jitsuwa would like to see an end to shops abusing customers and employees. (K.N.)
Source: “Osaka tekihatsu JKrifure ten kanzen kanshi de shakkin mamire ni natta shojo ginkoku monogatari,” Shukan Jitsuwa (June 5, page 49)