Sex Workers to Get Part of $1 Trillion Stimulus Package in Japan

sex workers

Sex workers in Japan will be offered financial aid as a part of Japan’s state of emergency 108 trillion yen (roughly $1 trillion) stimulus package.

As coronavirus ravages the world, Japan initially did not include those working in the stigmatized industry. According to CNN, it was only when #NightWorkIsAlsoWork or #夜職も仕事です started trending on Twitter, and a letter to the government from the Japanese advocacy organization Sex Work And Sexual Health (SWASH), was the pushback received.

One individual wrote she became a sex worker to pay off her student loans in a viral tweet.

Despite the support from those labeling it “occupational discrimination,” many sex workers are afraid to “apply for benefits without effectively outing themselves.”

As in the case of Mika, a woman who was interviewed by CNN and goes by a pseudonym for protection, works as an escort in Japan’s legally permitted “delivery health” industry which does not include intercourse. Her main source of income was reduced to nil from the pandemic and so she is worried about basic survival and what it will mean to lose her home, afford basic necessities, or clear the debt she’s taken on to delay the expenditures.

Although the terms of the package are unclear, some are taking the brighter side of this inclusion as a symbolic victory for sex work being acknowledged as legitimate work.

Feature Image via Getty

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