A woman employed by the Tokyo Taxation Bureau in Japan has been fired from her job for working eight separate jobs as a sex worker. The Bureau said the woman violated regulations against holding a second job.
According to local media reports, the woman, 24, says she started working in order to cover her patronage of host clubs, a type of bar where conventionally handsome men woo and flatter women in exchange for money. The woman worked eight different jobs of different types, including soaplands and “delivery health” (デリヘル, hotel room visits involving sexual activity).
The woman worked 165 days in the sex industry and brought in 8.26 million yen, or around USD $62,000. Tax authorities fired her after someone ratted her out.
The woman’s story resembles a plot line of the manga Ashita, Watashi wa Dareka no Kanojo (明日、私は誰かのカノジョ) by manga artist Wono Hinao. In the manga and subsequent drama, one of the characters finds herself driven to sex work to feed her newfound affection for a male host.
Sexual intercourse in exchange for money is illegal in Japan. However, other forms of commercial sexual activity, such as oral sex, are legal and regulated by Japanese law.
Sex workers and other night workers in Japan often find themselves in precarious social and economic positions. During the pandemic, many night workers found that their jobs prevented them from collecting the public assistance given to nearly every other worker in Japan.
As elsewhere in the world, sex workers in Japan also often endure public scorn and ridicule – often by the same class of people who secretly use their services. In 2020, comedian Okamura Takashi took heat on social media for telling his male listeners that the pandemic would drive more “pretty girls” into sex work.
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「街中でスカウトされ」税務署の女性職員が風俗店８店舗で兼業…１６５日働き収入８２６万円. Yomiuri Shimbun