|The story below is originally published on Mainichi Daily News by Mainichi Shinbun (http://mdn.mainichi.jp).|
|They admitted inventing its kinky features, or rather deliberately mistranslating them from the original gossip magazine.|
|In fact, this is far from the general Japanese' behavior or sense of worth.|
Personal data lists available to anyone - for a price
Shukan Asahi 9/8
Tokyo is home to many small,specialist libraries.
One of the most peculiar among them is the Meibo Toshokan(List Library) in Shinbashi.
The facility,the only one of its kind in Japan,is stocked with internal-use-only lists of personal data obtained from anonymous sources.
Operated on a commercial basis,the library avails otherwiseconfidential data for a fee to members and outside users who wish to photocopy the lists.
Shukan Asahi introduces this unknown data house popular among the desperate.
Those in dire need of information include parties on both sides of the law.
According to the magazine's article,which quotes Meibo Toshokan's founder and director Takeo Tamura,both the AUM Shinrikyo and police have been users.
The cult once bought a list containing names and personal data of 30,000 university students majoring in natural sciences from Tamura's facility while investigators from the Metropolitan Police Department frequently visit in search of personal data that can help them in criminal investigations.
According to Tamura,exposure of many criminal activities by AUM during the past six months have resulted in a sharp rise in the number of visitors from the mass media.
They come to his library looking for telephone numbers and addresses of people who used to study or work with AUM executives.
Other leading clients,notes Tamura,are real estate agents and university seniors desperately looking for a job.
Tamura informs Shukan Asahi that securities companies used to be major clients,but they stopped visiting for information in the wake of the burst of the economic bubble.
According to the magazine,Tamura's facility presently owns about 10,000 lists which contain names and personal data of about 150 million people.
Naturally,some of the lists are more unusual than others.
More peculiar ones list such unusual groups as housewives who shop at smaller department stores,karaoke lovers,women managers of hostess bars in Ginza,participants in matchmaking parties and those who refused to pay NTT.
Tamura tells Shukan Asahi that he often has little idea what his needy customers buy the data for.
As examples of some of the odd ones,Tamura cites the acquisition of a list of female company presidents by a leading
What Tamura does know from experience is that lists of women are more valuable than those of men--at least among those who pay him to see and copy lists.
Tamura reasons that women's tendency to keep their personal information secret contributes to higher value of lists supplying such data.
Tamura will upgrade his data service this month with the commercial launch of a composite list of 3.3 million Tokyo residents complete with their address,phone number,data of birth and place of work.
This original list,which Tamura compiled from hundreds of source lists,is intended to help mail order companies reduce mailing expenses.
The list business pioneer says he will limit users to library members and visitors with respectable backgrounds such as schools and listed companies.
Tamura is glad to explain the intended use when a listed person visits(TI)