The Rio Olympics has been over. The next will be held in Tokyo in 2020.
As it approaches, the police is going to be tougher and tougher on the sex industry, as I mentioned several times in this blog. Recently, unexpected happenings are being seen: crackdowns on other adult industries.
In June, three executives of a porn movie company called “Marks Japan” went under arrest for forcing women to appear on pornography. It might sound strange, but cases like this had never happened before. The police were not serious about sexually victimized women. Today, they’ve jumped into an arrest.
In July, authorities gave prosecutors the files on 52 people who were involved in JAV shooting at a campsite. It could be an outdoor or flashing work, and they might have offended public order and morals. However, such a sudden action had never occurred until then.
Porn movies are not alone. Japan has a culture of gamble called “pachinko,” where customers get small silver balls and put them into machines that look just like slots to get more of them. More balls turn into more money. There are many rumors and evidences of gangsters inside and overseas behind it. Just recently, the police published a list of the pachinko shops they could take legal action on. No actual incidents are reported yet, but it’s a shocking event to the insiders.
The Tokyo Olympics is only four years away. The number of foreign tourists visiting Japan has doubled compared to five years ago. The government is sensitive to how they view Japan as. Judging from the above, it’s been the most sensitive in the last decades. If it does something big, it will take steps on the sex industry first.
Japan houses a lot of unspoken rules which are considered and left as gray zones. So does the sex businesses. For instance, soaplands are technically private bath rooms, where women help customers take a bath, and it’s impossible to get the picture of what’s going on behind the scenes. At least that’s what people take them as, superficially. In fact, everybody knows they offer sexual service including full sex.
On the other hand, some say the gray zones have helped maintain the current order. It is said that prostitution is the oldest occupation, and it’s not logical to eliminate it totally. Thorough crackdowns will lead to underground operation, causing worsened security. The Japanese authorities have accepted a certain degree of the ambiguity to keep everything under control for decades.
Now that Japan is facing internationalization on the level that it never experienced before, maybe they’re beginning to change the policy. That is, there might be an unprecedented crackdown on the sex industry in the near future.
One of the possibilities is Yoshiwara, the mecca of soaplands in Tokyo. It’s in the eastern half of Japan. When an international summit was held in the western half years ago, a traditional soapland town vanished totally. With the biggest global event since the end of the war around the corner, a red-light district which has hundreds of years of history may have disappeared by 2020.
Another is Kabukicho, which is as famous as Yoshiwara. It’s the most popular nightlife district when it comes to “anything goes.”
You never know whether the above will become real. Even if they do vanish, they would just go underground or less obvious. The sex industry will never disappear.