No matter how hard the sex industry tries to become a general business, it cannot escape the fact that it is a gray industry in society. What the sex clubs are doing is no different than illegal prostitution. The Japanese sex industry is simply founded on the excuse that the client and his girl are freely loving each other.
An example that makes this excuse system easy to understand is the so-called “three-shop exchange system” of pachinko. In Japan, both gambling and prostitution are prohibited. Pachinko bypasses the antigambling laws by operating under the reasoning that there just happens to be a shop located around the corner from the pachinko parlor where you can exchange items you received at the parlor for a specific amount of money.
As you already know, these excuses are a far cry from the reality of the situation. In fact, everyone knows this, and there is absolutely no way that only the police are completely unaware. The only explanation is that the police have some type of connection to these industries. If the law were properly enforced, these industries could not possibly exist.
I would now like to examine what kind of relationship exists between police and the sex industry.
Crackdowns on sex clubs
Police perform periodic busts, or crackdowns, on sex clubs. The goal of these busts is to correct cases in which the busted sex club was not properly operating under the pertinent laws and ordinances.
When performing a crackdown, the police will spend a long time researching the targeted club. It is said that this research can take around 2 months to perform.
Doesn’t it feel a little inefficient that the police only perform crackdowns on a few clubs for which they have undergone painstaking preparation lasting for 2 months? It is difficult to call this rational.
The meaning of a bust
It’s possible to understand why the police are using such inefficient methods if you consider the meaning of a bust.
The significance of performing a bust, or crackdown, is meeting a quota. The precincts that each police station has jurisdiction over have quotas for crackdowns, and the police have to meet those quotas. This is why they set their sights on sex clubs. Sex clubs tend to have links to gangs, which provides justification for the busts.
Put another way, the reason that most police crackdown on sex clubs is that they provide vindicating excuse for performing busts in the first place.
Sex clubs entertain the detectives in charge
If you change your point of view from the police to that of the sex club, you can see just how frightening the police can seem.
Obviously, the sex clubs want to escape police crackdowns. In order to pull this off, the sex clubs invite detectives in charge of their precinct and entertain them. If the clubs can deepen this friendship, it is difficult for the police to make them the target of a bust.
It’s a very cheap and simple outcome, but if the police find a club that shows them favoritism, they will not make that club a target of a bust. Conversely, they will actually use the club as a staging point to research other fraudulent sex clubs. In this way, the club that the police take a liking to reigns supreme at the pinnacle of the neighborhood hierarchy. And, the further down the hierarchy a sex club is, the more likely it is to be made the target of a bust.
These acts do not stop at the entertainment of detectives. When the police chief of the precinct changes, sex clubs in the area band together and offer a financial gift. It is said that the total amount of this gift is around 100 million JPY, and it is shared among the top officials in the precinct.
Japan’s police are receiving numerous favors from sex clubs. If you only focus on this aspect, the relationship seems like a one-way street between a powerful entity and a weak entity. However, sex clubs also have ties with gangs, which makes this social structure much more complicated.
The sex industry is a gray area. The truth remains, however, that it is an established industry within Japanese society. In the background of this unique existence hides a very complicated game of politics and maneuvering that differs greatly from the common conceptions of ordinary people.