Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. So it’s hardly surprising that young girls look for easy and uncommon ways to make quick money rather than standing in a convenience store all night long. Businessmen of all ages are happy to provide Japanese schoolgirls with a good amount of cash as long as they’re willing to offer themselves for so-called “walking dates.”
VICE News host Simon Ostrovsky went to one of Tokyo’s busiest neighborhoods, where girls solicit clients in their school uniforms, to a concert performed by a band of schoolgirls attended by adult men, and into a café, where teenage girls are available to hire by the hour. Some of Tokyo’s darkest secrets are revealed as soon as the sun goes down and the moon glimmers above the city.
Japan’s obsession with cutesy culture has taken a sad turn. The US State Department, in its annual report on human trafficking, flagged so-called high school walking dates as fronts for commercial sex run by sophisticated criminal networks. The true revelations come behind closed doors when schoolgirls involved in the rent-a-date industry reveal how they’ve been coerced into prostitution.
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