• Kyodo

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The government decided Friday to crack down on scouts who force women to appear in pornographic videos as part of a series of emergency measures to combat sexual exploitation.

The plan involves punishing coercive scouts through an application of rape in the Penal Code.

The government panel on the issue also decided to designate April as “awareness month.” April marks the start of the new school and business year in Japan, when changes in young people’s living circumstances may make them particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

Katsunobu Kato, minister in charge of gender equality, told the panel at a meeting that longer-term measures will be compiled in addition to the crackdown on scouts.

The panel also decided to begin a program of on-site inspections in major urban centers at businesses suspected of hiring teenage girls to provide dating services involving bed-sharing, massages or shared walks.

These “JK businesses” take their name from an abbreviation of joshi kosei (female high school student). While not explicitly advertised, sexual services are effectively provided as off-menu options in many cases.

Also included in the panel’s measures are awareness initiatives at high school and university orientations, and a commitment to raise awareness of consultation services for people forced into the porn industry.

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