National

U.N. official's claim that 13% of Japanese girls engage in 'compensated dating' angers government

Kyodo

The Foreign Ministry has protested remarks by a U.N. official who said 13 percent of schoolgirls in Japan are engaged in enjo kosai, or compensated dating, and called for the comment to be retracted.

The ministry lodged the protest with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding comments by Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, special rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, during her visit to Japan late last month.

The ministry said Monday that De Boer-Buquicchio’s remarks, made Oct. 26 at a news conference in Tokyo, have no objective basis and that it is “unacceptable” to use unreliable information.

Enjo kosai refers to young girls taking money to date older men.

The ministry quoted De Boer-Buquicchio as saying, “I’m referring in particular to this phenomena of enjo kosai, which is a trend amongst schoolgirls. Some 13 percent of the schoolgirls in Japan are involved in that kind of activity.”

The ministry said it has asked the U.N. office to disclose the basis for the “13 percent” claim, but De Boer-Buquicchio’s side has not clearly explained where the figure came from.