A fetish sex establishment which employed actual schoolgirls to undress in their “bedrooms” fitted with one-way mirrors whilst paying patrons looked on has been closed for making minors work in unhygienic conditions after police found they had nothing else to charge them with.
The Kanagawa prefecture brothel, opened in 2010, operated under the name of the “Female Highschooler Inspection Club,” and catered to its voyeur clientèle by providing a “schoolgirl bedroom” fitted with a one-way mirror.
It then employed actual schoolgirls, who according to police included underage girls, to strip down to their underwear in the room whilst the establishment’s patrons looked on in a state of excitement.
The establishment was widely advertised online and in magazines, and boasted of “real schoolgirls in their uniforms” and even went so far as to make a “fresh pantsu declaration.”
Eventually all this came to the attention of authorities, who decided to put a stop to it – at first with the stock charges of running a brothel and endangering a child’s welfare.
They raided the club, taking into “protective custody” one female high school student.
However, it transpired that none of the services offered actually violated the letter of the law, making the establishment perfectly legal. Police doubted they could make a case successfully, but wanted to close the club anyway.
Accordingly, they decided the club must be violating health and safety regulations relating to the employment of minors, and are reportedly assembling a case against the proprietors, alleging they illegally employed minors in “hazardous” work.
In Japan, most prosecutions relating to underage prostitution are based on the principle of adults knowingly paying minors to perform sexual services, which police apparently felt they could not prove in this case – just why they feel they can more easily prove a faux bedroom is a “harmful environment” for a minor to work in is an interesting question, although apparently similar prosecutions have been made successfully.
Prostitution itself is technically illegal in Japan, but rather than simply legalise and regulate the nation’s vast array of brothels and brothel-like establishments, the authorities instead maintain a status quo of shady quasi-legality.
This just happens to involve brothel proprietors being forced into registering with and making discrete payments to their local police force, and police making occasional raids against enterprises not paying any dues – there is some suspicion similar conditions applied in this case, as the establishment was not registered and was judged to have no duty to register.