Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Japan's Sex Slaves

TOKYO: Under fire for its inaction on eliminating human trafficking, Japan is expected to bring in new laws this week to crack down on the brokers and buyers of women forced to work as sex slaves.

Japan remains embarrassed by a US State Department report last year condemning the world's second-biggest economy for its failure to adequately address the problem and placing it on a watch list with offenders such as Cambodia and the Ivory Coast.

Although a more recent version of the survey praised Japan's efforts to improve the situation, it remains a "tier two" country because its thriving sex industry remains a lucrative destination for those who traffic women from Thailand, The Philippines, Colombia and Belarus.

A place in the tier-two category denotes that a country fails to meet minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking.

The impending changes will make the manager of any establishment in the sex or entertainment industry criminally liable for employing anyone without proper legal documentation.

Keiko Otsu, who runs a secret shelter in Tokyo for women who escape from their captors, described a constant fear that haunts the women who arrive at her door. "They are genuinely terrified, often trembling uncontrollably," she said.

The first prosecution occurred last week, when a Taiwanese woman who managed a club in the resort town of Nagano was arrested for buying for $24,000 a 24-year-old Indonesian woman for use as a sex slave.

The Times

1 comment:

Anastasia said...

Good post. Here in Australia we've had cases where people bring in either Asian girls (from various nations), offering them long visa or help with residency, putting them to work in brothels. Most brothels here are legal, but in the cases the owners have been charged for forcing them to work as prostitutes against their will.

Human trafficking can happen in any modern nation, and often does.