TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A new ordinance bill to impose strict restrictions on dating businesses using teenage schoolgirls was presented to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly's steering committee Wednesday, with the aim of protecting them from involvement in crimes.
The bill, banning girls aged 17 or younger from providing intimate services to customers and allowing on-site inspections by police, was compiled by the Metropolitan Police Department and will be deliberated at the assembly's regular sessions starting next week.
If it is enacted, the ordinance, including penalties for violations, will be put into effect on July 1.
It will become the first ordinance in the country specifically targeting the so-called "JK businesses." JK stands for "joshi kosei" meaning female senior high school students.
Aichi Prefecture in central Japan put restrictions on such services by revising its juvenile protection ordinance that came into force in July 2015.
JK businesses have developed a variety of forms that do not necessarily lead to sexual contact but sexual services are effectively provided as "unofficial" options in many cases.
The new bill categorizes JK business into five types of establishments, such as "JK rifure" (JK reflexology) providing bed-sharing or massaging services and "JK sampo" (JK walking date) providing services such as walking together or tourist guiding. It obliges the management to report to the Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission, the regulator, about their business operations.
The new bill also requires JK business operators to have name lists of employees which show their ages and prohibits the recruitment of girls aged 17 or younger, as well as banning running their business and advertisements around schools and hospitals.
The public safety commission will be able to give administrative guidance or business suspension orders if violations are found.
Business owners and employees who do not obey the orders could face penalties of imprisonment up to one year or a maximum fine of 1 million yen ($8,700).
A panel set up by Tokyo police formulated a report calling for legislative restrictions on JK businesses last May as the police currently have no authority to conduct on-site inspections because such businesses are not subject to regulations under the adult entertainment law.