|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.|
Tabloid Tidbits: Torched teen a sad sign of Okinawa's booming underage boom-boom biz 2007,10,21
Nikkan Gendai 10/18 By Ryann Connell
A teenage "soapland" brothel prostitute's tragic death in a blaze that raged through a Naha whorehouse last week has drawn attention to the booming underage sex trade in Japan's struggling southern island prefecture of Okinawa,according to Nikkan Gendai (10/18).
The 17-year-old girl was caught in the blaze that gutted the soapland Idol, shocking many by revealing that the club was employing underage sex workers.
An Okinawa-based reporter, however, tells the afternoon tabloid that it shouldn't have come as a surprise.
"Underage sex workers are everywhere in Okinawa," the hack tells Nikkan Gendai.
A police source tells the lowbrow daily that Idol is now under investigation.
"Idol charged a standard fee of 15,000 yen for a 50 minute session, with another 2,000 yen added on if the customer specified the woman he wanted to be with. That's about the standard charge for a brothel in Okinawa," the police source says.
"Idol is located in a soapland district with about other 50 brothels in the area. It had been running for about two years before the fire and was reasonably popular. Part of its appeal, though, came from rumors that it was employing sex workers under the age of 18."
The teenage "soap lady" died without her parents being aware she was turning tricks.
But she's hardly the only underage sex worker in Okinawa, as the reporter points out.
"The number of teenage runaways and kids taken into custody for hanging out on the streets are both more than double the national average. And the number of junior high school pupils caught for juvenile delinquency is higher than anywhere else in the nation. And the delinquents are getting even younger," the reporter tells Nikkan Gendai.
"Okinawa has a lot of poverty. Many girls used to turn to enjo kosai (a euphemism for teenage prostitution that translates literally as 'compensated dating'), but that's no longer a viable option as authorities have cracked down on it. Those kinds of girls now lie about their age to get jobs in the sex industry. Sex businesses tend to turn a blind eye to lies about age and authorities don't do much to check up on the girls." (By Ryann Connell)