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Strippers busted at Naha City nightspot

Date Posted: 2004-06-24

A nude theater in Naha, Naha Music, was raided by police some days ago and the owner arrested on indecency charges.

Shigehira Shimura, 61, was arrested by Okinawa Prefectural Police and charged with permitting the showgirls to perform indecent acts in front of patrons.

The girls, in Okinawa from Columbia, were also found to be illegally in the country, working without appropriate visas. Police charge that the business owners are actually trafficking the young women instead of allowing them free choice of movement.

According to police, the Columbian girls were smuggled into Japan by a Columbian group in Tokyo. Both Okinawa and Tokyo police are looking for the ringleader. They say the trafficking is becoming a scandal, causing international problems and embarrassing Japan.

Police say Japan is easy for trafficking because business leaders and political leaders don’t take action to protect against it. Prefectural police say they think the trafficking is not only Japanese yakuza’s handiwork, but also has the mark of the overseas mafia groups. They claim girls only 17 and 18 years old are being forced to do prostitution in the Naha Music Club.

One girl said “we didn’t know about this job at all. They lied to us. The never told us about prostitution” Another charged that the nude theater’s staff was asking customers to engage in sexual services, and “if they want to do prostitution the customer paid ¥7,000”. One dancer charged that although she was with many customers in a night, she only received ‘¥2,000 for her work.

A watchdog group says that since 1980, Columbian smugglers have brought girls to Japan, and the Japanese government is allowing it. Suzuyo Takazato of the Okinawa Rape Counseling Center says “Okinawa has been the place for trafficking for a long time. It is the same for everybody. We need to get native speaking persons to talk to the girls” to get the true story.

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