In the vicinity of Tokyo's Kabukicho, specifically around Okubo Park, the issue of 'Johns' or individuals soliciting prostitution has gained prominence. Tokyo Metropolitan Police's Public Safety Division revealed their crackdown statistics on October 3, stating that between January and September 2023, they apprehended 80 women aged between 20 to 46 on suspicion of violating anti-prostitution laws.
These women engaged in prostitution for various reasons, including financial hardship, but what's striking is that 40% of them were motivated by the need to pay off debts related to host clubs and male underground idol entertainment expenses.
Among the 80 apprehended individuals, 35 were caught in September alone, when enforcement was intensified. The majority, 70%, were in their twenties, and as mentioned, 40% were driven to prostitution as a means to settle host club debts or cover expenses associated with men's underground idol entertainment.
Earlier in April this year, a male host from Kabukicho was arrested for allegedly coercing financially distressed women into prostitution as a way to clear their debts, a violation of anti-prostitution laws.
The Public Safety Division, in an effort to address these issues, conducted visits to host clubs in late September, urging them to be vigilant against such activities and potential legal issues.
On the flip side, recognizing that some women were resorting to prostitution due to financial struggles, Tokyo Police indicated that specialist counselors have held discussions with these individuals. Four of them were subsequently referred to municipal welfare offices for assistance.
Concerns have arisen due to the surge in men attempting to solicit prostitution by live-streaming their interactions with 'Johns' on social networking sites (SNS). Neighbors have lodged numerous complaints. While there are no penalties for men attempting to solicit, the Tokyo Police have increased their efforts to educate and caution these individuals.