National / Crime & Legal

Japanese march in Shibuya calls for end to sex crimes against young women

Kyodo

Female college students joined senior government officials and police officers on a march along a bustling street in Tokyo Friday to call for an end to sexual crimes targeting young women.

About 140 people including members of a civic group helping victimized women walked along Shibuya’s Center Street, a popular hangout for young people, as April has been designated by the government as the month for campaigning against forced performance in adult videos and crimes linked to the so-called JK business.

JK stands for joshi kosei (high school girls). The industry employs girls who wear high school uniforms.

Seiko Noda, minister for women’s empowerment, said during a rally that the eradication of sexual exploitation is a task for all of society. “I’m calling for the nation’s cooperation,” she said.

According to Lighthouse, a Tokyo-based group that helps human-trafficking victims, 100 women in 2016 and 99 women in 2017 contacted it for consultations and support after being forced to appear in adult videos. They were typically deceived after being originally recruited as models.

Statistics compiled by the National Police Agency show there were 131 JK outlets in Japan as of the end of last year, with Tokyo hosting the largest number at 83.

JK businesses offer various services involving girls purported to be high school students. The services include allowing customers to take walks or naps with the girls, or receive massages from them. In addition, they also offer hidden, optional sexual services, and an increasing number of girls have been forced to provide them, police said.