Tokyo police have taken 13 teenaged girls into custody for offering "JK osanpo" escort services to men in exchange for money, the first such crackdown on the practice.

The police said Tuesday that 11 of the teens are high school students and the other two are not in school and are unemployed. They range in age from 15 to 17 and were allegedly offering their services in the Akihabara district.

JK is short for "joshi-kosei" (female high school student) and JK osanpo translates as "female high school students walk."

JK osanpo, in which older men pay to spend time with young girls, is reportedly widespread in Akihabara, and the police said they took the recent action because they consider the practice "harmful for juvenile physical and mental health."

According to the police, as many as 96 locations in the district offer JK osanpo services. The police believe they are a breeding ground for child prostitution and the black market for stolen underwear.

Some of the girls taken into custody claimed they did not think they were doing anything wrong. Five said, however, they had experienced problems such as "the customer taking underskirt photo shots" or "having been asked for a sexual relationship."

The police said they turned up 208 cases of behavior regarded as JK osanpo in Akihabara in November alone. Of those cases, 85 involved students spending time with male customers in karaoke facilities and 78 in family-style restaurants.