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U.N. report urges Japan to ban sexual exploitation of schoolgirls

Kyodo

Japan should ban all commercial activity leading to the sexual exploitation of children, a report by a U.N. human rights official said, showing particular concern over the so-called “JK business,” which refers to dating services offered by teenage schoolgirls.

Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, issued the report following her visit to Japan in October to look into issues including businesses involving joshi kosei, which literally means “high school girl.” The report was submitted Tuesday to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

“JK business is not infrequent among some junior and senior high-school-aged girls (those from 12 to 17 years), who consider it a part-time job with prestige,” the report said. It warned that “once in the business, they often find themselves coerced into providing sexual services by their employers or customers.”

It also noted that the business can take a variety of forms, such as walking dates, photo sessions or reflexology services provided by the girls. Some allow men to be alone with girls to conduct activities that often lead to sexual contact or acts, it said.

The special rapporteur met with victims of the JK business and prostitution and “they all wished for the JK business to disappear,” according to the report.

Although welcoming the fact that Japan has “made considerable progress” in combating the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography, the report added, “the sexual exploitation of children online and offline is, however, still a major issue of concern in Japan.”

The government submitted a document rebutting the report, saying some of the phrasing in it “does not seem to be based on objective information.”