Japan and Sexual Exploitation of Children

Decked out in heavy makeup with ribbons in their hair, children are dressed like adults but still look very much like what they are: a child. The child idol phenomenon is extremely popular in Japan, where human rights groups have complained about sexual harassment and exploitation of children.

 

It was only recently in 2015 that possessing child pornography was a crime and authorities are still struggling to bring the country in line with other advanced nations on the issue.

 

Photo credit to: https://www.dawn.com

In the crowd at one of the shows is Soichiro Seki who claims that he watches young girls on stage twice a week. He insists he goes just to encourage the girls and feels no shame in it but conceded that other fans objectify them.

 

One of the girls, name withheld, has performed on stage since she was 16 and says the men attending her shows worship them and crave communication with them.

 

She continues to say that majority of her fans are “pure” but she admits that she was once offered ¥30,000 ($276) for her used pantyhose.

 

Another girl played in a band as a teenager and sees her performances as a way into the popular and lucrative world of idols.

 

AKB48, one of Japan’s most successful acts of all time, started on a small stage in Tokyo’s Akihabara district, has been proven to give fame and fortune at the cost of harassment.

 

Japan’s battle against child pornography is well-detailed. The number of minors sexually abused and exploited has risen five times in a decade.

 

Police have failed to cut down on the JK (Koshi Kōsei or high school girls) business, which provide services to men such as going for a walk with teenagers so they can negotiate sex.

 

But in Japan, it is now pretty much normal and there has been little public debate of the issue.

 

Reference: Japanese adults vent dark obsession with young girls at ‘little idols’ concerts

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