Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tougher adult business law takes effect May 1

Will this law help curb human trafficking?

Or does it not go far enough?

from the Japan Times
The revised adult entertainment control law will go into force May 1 featuring measures designed to crack down on human trafficking, the government decided Tuesday.

Those arrested or sent to prosecutors for violating the human-trafficking provisions of the Penal Code will be denied business permits.

The revised Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses requires business owners to keep documents confirming that any foreign woman employed for "entertainment services" holds a work permit. It also features measures to punish distributors of sex service fliers and those who advertise sex businesses.

Violators will face a fine of up to 1 million yen. There was no penalty previously.

The revised law contains provisions to curb aggressive touting in entertainment districts.

The move comes amid international criticism of Japan's adult entertainment industry, which has been described as a hotbed for human trafficking.

According to a National Police Agency report issued in July, 51 Thai women were brought into Japan illegally and forced to work in the adult entertainment industry in the first half of this year. It was the highest figure for a six-month period since the NPA began tracking the statistic in 2001.

Human rights groups and researchers, however, estimate that thousands of women, mostly from poor parts of Asia, enter Japan illegally every year and are forced to work in the sex industry.

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