TOKYO — Twenty-seven people were rescued from human trafficking for forced prostitution or forced labor in Japan in 2018, of whom two-thirds were Japanese, with the figure falling from 46 the previous year, a government report showed Friday.
Japanese accounted for 18 of the victims, while five were Filipinos and four Thais. All but one victim were female and five of the Japanese were children, according to the report.
Many of the Japanese victims were forced into prostitution and brothels in order to pay off illegal loans. A majority of the foreign nationals were forced to work as hostesses or prostitutes.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a government meeting on the matter that with more foreign nationals coming to Japan either as travelers or to work under a new visa program, it is necessary to boost support for victims of human trafficking in multiple languages.
The report, fifth of its kind, is based on an action plan compiled by the government in December 2014 that calls for the reinforcement of immigration controls and improved support for trafficking victims.