Charlie Campbell and Mayako Shibata:
Although officially illegal, Japan has a booming sex industry due to numerous loopholes. On any night, the streets of Kabukicho, central’s Tokyo’s infamous red light district, teem with girls dressed in school uniforms beckoning bleary-eyed salary men into dingy bars and massage parlors known as joshi kosei, or “high school girl,” businesses.
Japan has some 300 cafes—the ones in Tokyo fill a whole street—where teenage girls in school uniform chat to older men for about $50 per hour (including all the beer you can drink). Men pay to hold hands, go for a walk or even snooze on a girl’s lap. Some then arrange “dates” away from the café. An estimated 5,000 teenagers earn cash this way.
Hat tip to Lighthouse: Center for Human Trafficking Victims, whose founder, Shihoko Fujiwara, is one of the interviewees in the article.