More than ever, businesses involving services provided by high school girls have become more lucrative in Japan.
Consequently, competition has also heightened.
All eyes on the JK entertainment industry, which stands for joshi kousei or “high school girl.” In essence, it’s a niche market that caters to anyone interested in Japanese high school girls, but middle-aged men are the most common patrons.
Today, it is home to services that may sound downright bizarre to many. These include consultations, dates, the opportunity to smell and tickle, and even prostitution, Channel NewsAsia said.
As per police figures, over 170 JK businesses thrive in Tokyo alone. An estimated 300 to 400 are scattered throughout the nation.
Customers subscribe for different reasons. One reasoned, “There were not many opportunities to meet high school girls. So I want to become a high school boy again, like I was 20 years ago.”
“This is one way to reduce the stress I experience at work. I get to talk to teenagers about unusual topics, like make-up products.”
But then again, it’s not all just socializing. Japanese authorities are constantly challenged by establishments that offer services in the gray area of the legal spectrum. The age of consent in Japan is 13, but some prefectures raise the de-facto age to at least 16 under certain legal conditions. In addition, prostitution is illegal in the country under the Prostitution Prevention Law of 1957, which prohibits “intercourse with an unspecified person in exchange for payment.”
Then there’s the Child Welfare Act, which forbids inducing someone under the age of 18 to perform obscene acts. Allegedly, some JK outlets let school girls dance provocatively behind one-way mirrors as customers watched in private booths.
However, the Japanese government is on the move. According to The Japan Times, it will launch a nationwide probe on JK businesses this year.