National / Crime & Legal

Number of human trafficking victims rescued in 2018 fell to 27, most of them Japanese

Kyodo

Twenty-seven people were rescued from human trafficking in Japan in 2018, of whom two-thirds were Japanese, with the figure falling from 46 the previous year, a government report showed Friday.

Eighteen of the victims were Japanese, while five were Filipinos and four were Thais. Only one male victim was reported. Five of the Japanese were children, according to the report.

Many of the Japanese victims were forced into prostitution and brothels in order to pay off illegal loans. A majority of the foreign nationals were forced to work as hostesses or prostitutes.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a government meeting on the matter that with more foreign nationals coming to Japan either as travelers or to work under a new visa program, it is necessary to boost support for victims of human trafficking in multiple languages.

The report, the fifth of its kind, is based on an action plan compiled by the government in December 2014 that calls for the reinforcement of immigration controls and improved support for trafficking victims.

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