What do you think as a member of Japanese society, which is regarded as an assailant of prostitution?

As the guest speaker pointed out, Japan is regarded as a haven of prostitution even though there is a law which prohibits the prostitution. However, not only place itself, but Japanese people contribute to the sex industry. -Thailand- It is a country where enormous amount of Japanese men go for the sake of having sex.

In Bangkok, which is a capital city of Thailand, there is a place called “Thanon Thaniya” This is the entertainment district especially for Japanese. People who went there felt as if they were in Japan because there are a lot of Japanese restaurants or advertising display written in Japanese. People also can speak Japanese there. There are lines of parlors, and customers enjoy the dance which women perform with almost naked. If a customer takes a fancy to a particular dancer, the customer can take her to the hotel. The customer has to pay a fee to both the parlor and to the dancer.

The number of Japanese tourists to Thailand was the biggest in the world in 2003. There are a lot of factors which attract Japanese people; for example, shopping, and sightseeing, but one of the biggest reasons is “seeking pleasure”. In fact, men’s tourists are almost twice bigger than that of women’s.

High economic growth result in bringing tourism industry into play in Japan. Some tourist agency designed “package sex tour”. Japanese people, as a group, go to the country such as Philippine, Thailand, or Korea in order to pay women for sex. The tour was exposed to criticism, so it is not as popular as before; instead, people go there individually, so the number of people who went there did not decline.

Agnes Chan, who is educator, singer, TV performer, insisted that Japan is an assailant of child prostitution. Mostly, there is an agreement between the dancer and the customer whether they spend a night together or not; however, there are some women who are forced to work at the parlor. From a legal stand point, it is illegal to work at such a place if the women are under 18 years old. Despite of the fact, some girls work there pretending as if they are over 18. The girls work for helping their family, or their parents sold them. As a result of prosperous sex industry, the death rate due to HIV is extremely high in Thailand. Some girls feel isolated and they tend to be chemical poisoning. It can be said that some Japanese people cause such problems in order to satisfy their sex drive. What do you think as a member of Japanese who help to cause such a tragedy?

If you are interested in the prostitution in Thailand, I recommend to read the book called “Yami no Kodomotati” (闇の子供たち). This is fiction novel actually, but it will give huge impact on you, I think.

Makita.(2006). Thai to Nihon no aidanioite zinsinbaibai ga okoru haikei to zinhinbaibai haizetu ni muketa shiminkatudou no genzyou to kadai 16-20. Retrieved from http://www.obirin.ac.jp/la/ico/images/_04report/2006momose.pdf (2011/12/14)

by Sae Tamagawa

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