Japan's sex workers head overseas in search of lucrative job opportunities

"Have you considered working abroad?" reads the online post. "I can provide introductions to a variety of countries...You can even enter some without having been vaccinated for COVID. From posts on Twitter, some are convinced up to 80% of the data about working overseas is fake, so feel free to ask me -- I'll explain things to you."
Yuto, a self-described papa-katsu producer, claims to have facilitated arrangements for over 2,000 Japanese women to engage in the sex trade in foreign countries, now the subject of four-page article in Spa (Nov 22-29).
One factor influencing the willingness to seek work abroad is the sharp drop in remuneration in Japan. Despite the surge in inflation affecting other consumer prices, commercial sex, it would seem, faces severe deflation due to an oversupply of sex workers and lack of demand.
Low demand in the sex shop where she worked moved 25-year-old Yumi to become a self-employed streetwalker. She trolls for Johns along Okubo Koen Dori, a seedy area located on the north side of Shinjuku's Kabukicho where the side streets are lined with short-time hotels.
"When I started back in July, I charged ?15,000 for 'one shot' while wearing a condom," Yumi told Spa. "I'd generally take on three to four customers a day. But then from September the going rate fell to ?10,000, and more customers were insisting on riding bareback. I noticed that teenage girls not old enough to work in sex shops -- we call them andaa (under) in the trade -- have been increasing. They see all this money changing hands and are willing to do it more cheaply."
Clearly unfavorable conditions at home have added to the incentives for more girls to work abroad.
"Up to last year, I worked at a high-class soapland (erotic bathhouse) in Kawasaki's Horinouchi red-light district," said a 28-year-old woman named Chinatsu. "While I was there, the shop charged ?40,000 for a two-hour session. But business got worse."
Then a regular customer, a Chinese, offered to introduce Chinatsu to an "escort" service in Hong Kong, where she now resides.
"In most cases, I get called to meet customers at the restaurants in high-class hotels, and from there we go directly to their rooms," she related. "The going rate ranges from ?70,000 to ?100,000 and if the customer really likes me they might pay an extra ?100,000 for me to spend the night.
"Another time I engaged in a threesome with the president of a famous Korean company, who paid ?200,000 to each girl."
"Chinese men had an image of being physically abusive, but I've found them to be affluent and gentlemanly," Chinatsu added. "And generous. On more than one occasion they would magnanimously peel off five HK $1,000 bills (equivalent to around ?90,000) to tip me."
As a side business, Chinatsu has assisted her employer in procuring younger, Lolita-type girls from Japan, for which she receives a broker's fee of between 30 to 40%.
Another form of overseas work considered particularly lucrative carries the job description sei settai hisho, which translates as "secretaries who provide sex" -- offered to corporate warriors as a perk to upon successful conclusion of business negotiations. In the case of one young woman, most of the action has taken place in Dubai.
The standard modus operandi, she explained, is for females to attend dinner parties and then invite their employer's clients up to their hotel room. One woman told the magazine that including tips, she cleared ?1.6 million in the course of one week.
On the other end of the spectrum is Aoi, a 22-year-old former worker at a cabaret club in Shibuya, who signed up with a broker to turn tricks at a brothel in New York's Chinatown for ?12,000 per transaction.
"Most customers were in and out within 10 minutes," she told Spa's reporter. "With that kind of turnover, on a busy day I could service 20 guys. In the month I was in New York, I cleared ?5 million."
The next problem was how to repatriate such a large sum of money, as getting caught with that much cash at airport customs risked confiscation.
"My solution was to convert about ?3.5 million of it into designer brand items that I could easily resell in Japan," she chuckled.

© Japan Today
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