National

Osaka's Tobita Shinchi red light district to be closed for G20 summit to 'avoid causing disruption'

Kyodo

A major red light district in Osaka will be closed during the Group of 20 summit in late June, the first such occurrence in 30 years, a local restaurant association said Thursday.

All 159 members of the Tobita Shinchi association will not operate during the June 28 and 29 gathering as the association seeks to “avoid causing disruption in the area,” one of its officials said.

The association also determined that workers at member businesses would have problems commuting as large-scale traffic restrictions will be in place during the two-day gathering of world leaders.

“We hope people will say they are glad they held the meeting in Japan,” said the official.

The last time the district in Nishinari Ward was closed was during the funeral for Emperor Showa on Feb. 24, 1989, according to the association.

Tobita Shinchi, formerly known as one of the largest quarters of licensed brothels in Japan, houses many such businesses that advertise themselves as being Japanese-style restaurants.