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Girl-recruiting teacher in hot water

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Police have handed prosecutors their case against a 59-year-old Iwate University professor who arranged for four foreign students to work as part-time nightclub hostesses.

Masamichi Okazaki arranged job interviews between the owner of a bar in Morioka and the four girls, a Chinese and three Russians, last October and in February, police told The Japan Times on Tuesday.

Okazaki frequented the bar and was asked by the owner to help recruit new girls, the police said.

Two of the Russians actually worked at the bar and were arrested on suspicion of violating immigration law. The other Russian did work, but was not arrested due to an unspecified reason.

The Chinese student turned down the job and was not arrested, according to Iwate University spokesman Hitoshi Hareyama. The two girls arrested were later released and are currently waiting for their case to be finalized.

When questioned, Okazaki told the university he did not consider the bar related to the adult entertainment industry, stressing he was unaware his activities might be illegal. Hareyama quoted him as saying he only did it because he “wanted to help the girls financially.”

Okazaki regularly spoke to female students after class about working as hostesses and put up fliers on bulletin boards inside the campus. He did not receive any money for introducing the girls to the bar owner, the police said.

The owner was fined about ¥800,000 for failing to have a license for his place and for the illegal recruitment of foreign students, according to media reports.