The Metropolitan Police Department will soon turn over to prosecutors the case of a manager of a “date club” in Shinjuku Ward who allegedly listed a 17-year-old girl as a client to skirt child-protection laws. The case represents the first implementation of an ordinance that went into effect Aug. 13 to protect minors from such clubs, police sources said Aug. 14. The ordinance was enacted in June to control date club agencies and “telephone clubs” to stem teenage prostitution, or “enjo kosai” compensated dates.

Date clubs are agencies that serve clients seeking a date in exchange for money. Along with telephone clubs, where girls chat with potential clients on the phone and sometimes arrange meetings that lead to sex for cash, date clubs have been blamed as a hotbed of prostitution. The ordinance prohibits children under 18 from entering date clubs, which had skirted children-protection laws by treating girls as clients, not as dates.

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