|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.|
Sex sells, even among Japan's prepubescent population, with the market for under 15s booming in the past couple of years, according to Spa! (7/23). Growing numbers of ever-younger kids can now squeeze their tiny tushes and budding boobs into skimpy lingerie that are reaping mega-millions of yen for its makers.
But the emphasis on using sex to sell to kids is also having adverse effects, as Japan becomes afflicted with a plague of prepubescent promiscuity.
Children's clothing maker Naruyama International has grown to reap sales of 2.2 billion yen, providing clothes for kids in styles normally produced for adults.
Japan's top lingerie maker, Wacoal Corp., has also got in on the act, releasing a line of littlies lingerie to cash in on the image of the sexy schoolgirl.
"Fashionable designs are popular. Naturally, underwear designs change according to the rate of growth, but we have developed a line of products while considering the needs of the low teen market, such as producing designs that don't stand out under a school uniform or sleeveless camisoles for spring and summer," a Wacoal spin doctor tells Spa!
Toymaker Bandai Co. has also found success targeting lusty low-teens with its kids' cosmetic kits.
"One reason why parents buy this sort of thing for their kids is that mothers nowadays were the generation of young women that could spend lots of money to look pretty during the days of the bubble economy," a Bandai spielmeister tells Spa! "Lots of popular bands nowadays, like Morning Musume or Mini Morning Musume are made up of young girls barely in their teens. Girls want to look like these stars. For that reason, it's hardly strange that little girls are interested in cosmetics and looking glamorous."
Some blame the mass media's fascination for fornication with sparking off a schoolkid sex wave." You can't deny the role the media has played in inspiring kids under 15 to have sex," Tsuneo Akaeda, a gynecologist who runs free weekly sex therapy sessions for Tokyo schoolgirls, tells Spa! "With all these reports screaming, 'So many kids use telephone dating clubs,' or 'So many kids sell sex,' it becomes easier for kids to say they have sex because everybody else is doing it. This makes some lonely kids even lonelier than before and because they've heard all these media reports about sex they have no problems with going out and doing it themselves."
Being bombarded with information about sex through TV, magazines, comics, the Internet and adult movies,even young kids see sex as being something routine instead of carrying a special aura.
Technological advances haven't done much to protect children's innocence, either. Mobile phones, a tool possessed by nearly every junior high school pupil in Japan, allow kids to enter a world without adults, leading a rapid increase in opportunities to meet -- and frequently have sex with -- people their older carers know nothing about.
"With so many kids beset with loneliness and a desire to be liked, very few are capable of saying 'No,'" a school counselor says.
Teen sex advisor Akaeda says the solution is simple.
"Schools, communities and families have got to tell kids that they're important people," he tells Spa! "If the kids can be confident of their worth to others, when they get pressured for sex they'll have the confidence to say things like, 'If you want sex, why not go and see a prostitute?'"