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Cellular phones blamed on spread of teen prostitution

Date Posted: 2002-12-14

A forum on the spread of teen prostitution organized by several PTAs was held at Goeku Junior High School in Okinawa City, Sunday. During the discussion, the increasing number of cellular phones that children have was singled out as one of the main reasons for the increase of the problem. “Cellular phones allow easy access to the children that parents cannot control,” one participant said. “If the children didn’t have a cell phone, there would be no prostitution problem as we see it now,” another participant stated.

Many also said that they could not see any need for a junior high school child to have a cellular phone. Goeku Junior High School has 269 students. 43 of them possess a cell phone, but according to a survey more than 140 of them would like to get one. Only six percent of the children said that they don’t want or need to have a cell phone.

Many students say that they need a cell phone to keep contact with friends. “If I suddenly remember that I need to discuss something with a friend, it’s the best just to pick up a cell phone and dial my friend’s number or send an e-mail from the phone,” a 8th grade student said.

A schoolteacher participating in the forum disagreed. “It’s better not to give this young children a cell phone. They need to act on their own to meet friends as that teaches them better social skills,” the teacher said. “Besides, to use a cell phone is expensive.”

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