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Japan eyes stronger protection of women from exploitation

  • September 16, 2019
  • , Jiji , 6:48 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, Sept. 16 (Jiji Press) — Japan’s welfare ministry is considering setting a new law to strengthen the protection of women, including schoolgirls, from sexual exploitation, informed sources have said.

The new law will provide a legal basis to the prefectural consulting centers for women, taking over the role from the existing law against prostitution.

The change would allow the centers to provide support to a wider range of women more flexibly, such as those coerced to appear in adult videos and high school girls, or “joshi kosei” in Japanese, exploited in so-called JK business to entertain men, the sources said.

The ministry hopes to introduce a bill on the new law at the next ordinary session of the Diet, the country’s parliament, from early in 2020, according to the sources.

The law against prostitution defines the centers as places to protect and rehabilitate women who may prostitute themselves.

A panel of experts set up by the ministry has called for a review to the definition, saying that the current regime does not fit the needs of women suffering from various forms of sexual exploitation.

In Japan, many women have been tricked or coerced into appearing in adult videos, and many schoolgirls lured into JK business. This has become a major social problem.

The government mounts a campaign against such sexual exploitation every April from 2017.

The consultation centers for women have already started providing assistance to sufferers of domestic violence and many other problems.

The definition “no longer fits the current realities,” a ministry official said.

Under the planned law, the definition of the centers will be rewritten to make it easier to deal with various exploitation and other problems.

The new law is also expected to include provisions to ensure that the centers work closely with local municipalities, public welfare and child consultation centers and nonprofit organizations so that they can reach victims unaware of public assistance.

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