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Patrols, police team to clean up Maehara’s prostitution strip

Date Posted: 2010-05-06

Less than a year ago, more than 110 brothels were operating in Ginowan City’s Maehara red light district, but a community crusade has slashed the number of prostitution outlets to little more than a dozen.

Ginowan City Police joined forces with citizens’ groups and retired policemen to establish patrols, document offenses and arrest and prosecute offenders. Most of the cleanup, code named “Joker Strategy” by officials to indicate the last card trumps, has been effective in pushing the prostitution operations out of the district.

More than 90% of the shops, which reportedly each generated more than ¥10 million in business each month, are gone. A combination of police patrols and undercover operations within the brothels was effective, according to police. The community crusade is not ended, as the 15 remaining brothels are still being targeted by Ginowan Police and its citizen watchdog groups. The goal, they say, is to end all prostitution activity in the community, noting that gangster organizations have been behind most of the red light district operations.

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