Cablegate: Japan Submission for Tip Report
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 000782
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB KCRM KWMN PHUM KFRD PREF SMIG JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN SUBMISSION FOR TIP REPORT
REF: STATE 02731
TOKYO 00000782 001.2 OF 010
1. Embassy's point of contact on TIP issues is Political
Officer Scott Hansen, Office Phone: 81 (3) 3224-5558, Fax:
81 (3) 3224-5322, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Embassy Tokyo has spent a total of 608 hours researching
trafficking issues, conducting awareness-raising campaigns,
drafting policy proposals, and coordinating with contacts
over the past year, in support of this report.
This total includes:
Ambassador, 20 hours
DCM, 8 hours
MC/POL 20 hours
01-level POL 10 hours
03-level POL 300 hours
FSN 08-level POL 250 hours
Total Embassy Tokyo on TIP, 608 hours
3. OVERVIEW OF JAPAN'S EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE TIP
Note: This report is keyed to Reftel and includes information
from the Japanese government, international organizations
(IOs), and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
A. Japan was a destination country for women and children
trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. According to
National Police Agency (NPA) statistics, there were 43
trafficking victims reported in 2007: 22 were from the
Philippines, 11 from Indonesia, 5 from South Korea, and 4
from Thailand. The remaining victim was a Japanese national,
the first Japanese citizen to be classified as a TIP victim
by government authorities. Labor activists and victim
shelters also reported labor exploitation cases tantamount to
trafficking in persons. Commercial sexual exploitation of
Japanese children remained a problem. According to NPA
statistics, 773 Japanese children were either prostituted or
exploited in child pornography during the first half of 2007.
It is possible that government data understates the magnitude
of human trafficking in Japan. Call logs from NGO-operated
hotlines suggest that the number of victims being exploited
was probably higher than the number of victims who
self-identified or were identified by law enforcement
officials. The fact that police and immigration officials
did not have formal victim identification procedures casts
further doubt on government statistics. Officials from a
number of third-country embassies reportedly repatriated
women otherwise classifiable as victims of human trafficking
without Japanese government support because police and
immigration officers did not recognize the women as victims.
NGOs also reported cases of foreign laborers being forced to
work under exploitative conditions, but government officials
did not recognize any victims of labor trafficking, so
trafficking statistics did not include any of these cases.
Post was unable to verify any of these reports.
Trends in the sex industry also contributed to the difficulty
in obtaining reliable statistics. In urban areas, police
crackdowns on red-light businesses eliminated visible
prostitution, making it extremely difficult to estimate the
extent of exploitation. NGOs reported that the number of
escort services increased, but there was no reliable evidence
indicating whether these services exploited victims of
B. Although NGOs reported isolated cases of possible labor
trafficking, human trafficking in Japan was most widely
perceived as the employment of women as prostitutes under
coercive conditions. Japan's large sex industry is comprised
of a wide variety of businesses in which victims could
potentially be exploited, including strip clubs, sex shops,
massage parlors, hostess bars, private video rooms, escort
services, and mail order video services.
TOKYO 00000782 002.2 OF 010
Brokers in the countries of origin recruited women and sold
them to intermediaries or employers, who in turn subjected
them to debt bondage and coercion. Traffickers strictly
controlled the movements of victims, and threatened to punish
them with violence if they tried to escape. Traffickers also
maintained contact with brokers in the victims' home
countries, using threats of violence against victims'
families as further leverage. Traffickers that directly
manage victims tend to be foreign nationals, often former
victims themselves. Although the owners of bars were
sometimes members of organized crime groups, and independent
owners usually paid fees to these organizations, there was no
evidence of systematic involvement in human trafficking by
organized crime syndicates.
Traffickers consistently used debt bondage to control
trafficking victims. According to shelter operators, before
arriving in Japan trafficking victims rarely understood the
size of the debts they would owe, the amount of time it would
take them to repay the debts, or the conditions of employment
to which they would be subjected. Women typically faced
debts upon commencement of their contracts from $29,000 to
$49,000 (three million to five million yen). In addition,
they had to pay their employer for their living expenses,
medical care (when provided by the employer), and other
necessities. "Fines" for misbehavior added to the original
debt over time and the process that the employers used to
calculate these debts was not transparent. Employers also
sometimes "resold," or threatened to resell, troublesome
women or women found to be HIV positive, thereby increasing
the victims' debts and often leading to even worse working
Brokers also used coercive psychological methods to control
women. Traffickers who once relied on confiscating travel
documents were forced by more sophisticated police
investigation techniques to rely on less physically obvious
methods of control. For example, brokers told victims that if
they went to the police, they would be arrested, beaten, and
deported. Victims unfamiliar with Japan had no way of
knowing that the stories were fabricated. According to one
TIP researcher, some clubs waited three months before
informing the women that they would have to sell sex to
continue their employment. Because they wouldn't receive
their wages until the end of the six-month stay, most women
chose to "stick-it-out" and prostitute themselves rather than
lose three months of investment. Even in hostess clubs that
do not provide sexual services, punishing women who do not
meet quotas compelled them psychologically to sleep with
clients in order to persuade them to become regular customers.
Many foreign embassy officials and NGO representatives
believe that human rights conditions improved for trafficking
victims in Japan. International pressure, increased law
enforcement activity, and the changing dynamics of Japan's
sex industry may have led to an improvement in the treatment
of trafficked sex workers. In past years, traffickers kept
victims locked up in the brothels where they worked, but
police pressure has closed the vast majority of brothels in
urban areas. Without a brothel to house victims, traffickers
must look for another location for victims to stay. The
difficulty of concealing lock-down dormitory facilities
within close-knit Japanese communities might have forced
traffickers to increasingly require the cooperation of
sex-workers, obliging an improvement in the conditions of sex
work. In addition, restrictions on visas made workers more
valuable and their escape more costly, forcing some business
owners to provide better working conditions and salary. The
increased presence in the industry of women holding spouse
visas, who tend to be familiar with Japan as well as know
their rights and some Japanese language, also may have put
upward pressure on hostess-club salaries and conditions.
The number of identified victims declined for the second year
in a row. Foreign embassy officials reported large decreases
in the number of women seeking their assistance, pointing to
improvements in working conditions as the reason why fewer
women run away from their employers. Not all activists
TOKYO 00000782 003.2 OF 010
believe that conditions are improving. Some NGO
representatives reported that conditions in many commercial
sex businesses had become more restrictive than ever, and
that conditions in rural areas are still abusive. Post was
unable to verify these reports. NPA officials believe that
there are fewer persons committing trafficking crimes in
Human trafficking in Japan is not limited to foreigners.
According to one NGO, the domestic trafficking industry
targeting Japanese girls and women is highly organized and
lucrative for the criminal networks. Recruiters were active
in subways, popular hangout spots for youth, and at schools.
Victim-support groups reported that children were recruited
for exploitation in child pornography or prostituted by
"compensated dating" businesses.
Child Pornography remained a serious problem. Japanese law
did not criminalize the possession of child pornography. The
absence of a statutory basis made it difficult for police to
obtain search warrants, preventing them from effectively
enforcing existing child pornography laws or participating in
international child pornography investigations. Internet
service providers acknowledged that Japan was a hub for child
pornography trade, leading to greater victimization of
children both domestically and abroad. The Prime Minister
and the Minister of Justice both made remarks in the Diet
calling for Japan to criminalize child pornography
possession, and all three major parties established project
teams to review the law.
Labor trafficking remains relatively unknown in Japan. The
media and NGOs reported continued abuses of the Industrial
Trainee and Technical Internship Program ("foreign trainee
program") including debt bondage, restriction of movement,
unpaid overtime, and fraud. The vast majority of companies
employed foreign trainees appropriately, but the fact that
participants in the first year of this three-year program
were not protected by labor laws made them vulnerable to
abuse. In December the Ministry of Justice released
revisions to the guidelines governing the foreign trainee
program that defined a broad list of prohibited acts. Any
company found in violation of these regulations is barred
from employing foreign trainees for three years, but does not
face criminal penalties.
Japan continued to be proactive in addressing
trafficking-in-persons. The Inter-Ministerial Liaison
Committee (Task Force) on trafficking and its working level
sub-committee met regularly in 2007 to monitor the
implementation of "Japan's Action Plan of Measures to Combat
Trafficking in Persons." The Diet provisionally approved the
ratification of the UN Protocol on TIP in 2002, but some
legislators continued block an anti-conspiracy law over
concerns about the right to privacy, preventing approval of
the umbrella document, the UN Convention on Transnational
C. In April 2004, the Japanese government established the
Inter-Ministerial Liaison Committee (Task Force) on TIP.
Headed by the Prime Minister's Cabinet Office, this task
force coordinates the TIP-related activities of governmental
agencies including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA),
Ministry of Justice (MOJ), National Police Agency (NPA), and
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW).
D. Restrictions on long-term undercover work, wiretapping,
and the use of plea-bargaining significantly limit the
ability of police to investigate TIP cases. Without the
information that could be gained using these techniques,
police are unable to assemble evidence that would prove the
complicity of business owners. The vast majority of
convicted traffickers have been foreign nationals that
directly managed victims.
E. The government monitors its efforts to combat trafficking
both domestically and in the international community, and has
made this information available in private meetings with U.S.
TOKYO 00000782 004.2 OF 010
and other foreign officials. The government also shared
these assessments during international conferences and
4. INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS
A. Japan does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.
Traffickers in Japan are punished under the Penal Code, the
Prostitution Prevention Law, the Labor Standards Law, and the
Employment Security Law. These laws cover both internal and
Under Japan's civil law system, Articles 226-2 and 227
effectively prohibit harboring, transportation, provision, or
obtaining a person through force or fraud, for any purpose
including a commercial sex act, involuntary servitude,
peonage, debt bondage, or slavery. Specifically, the law
prohibits "buying or selling" a person for any purpose. As
part of Chapter XXXIII of the Penal Code (Crimes of
Kidnapping and Buying or Selling of Human Beings), Article
226-2 applies to victims of "force or enticement." Courts
interpret buying and selling to include paying or receiving
any payment for taking or transferring custody of a victim.
Article 227 specifically punishes a person who "delivers,
receives, transports, or hides" any person who has been a
victim of "force" or "enticement" for any purpose.
Although Articles 226-2 and 227 do not use the same
terminology as the TVPA, in effect they criminalize all
severe forms of trafficking except crimes involving coercion
and recruiting. Any crime involving coercion is criminalized
by Article 223, below. Recruiting by force, fraud, or
coercion for sex trafficking is criminalized by Article 7 of
the Prostitution Prevention Law, below. Recruiting by force,
coercion, and possibly fraud, for any purpose, is
criminalized by Article 63 of the Employment Security Law,
Article 223 of the Penal Code prohibits any act involving
force or coercion for any purpose. Specifically, it
prescribes punishment for a person who, "by intimidating
another through a threat to another's life, body, freedom,
reputation, or property or by use of assault" or "through a
threat to the life, body, freedom, reputation, or property of
the relatives of another," "causes the other to perform an
act which the other person has no obligation to perform, or
hinders the other from exercising his or her rights."
Sex traffickers are almost always also prosecuted under
Articles 7 and 12 of the Prostitution Prevention Law, which
both describe punishment for any act that forces, defrauds,
or coerces a person into providing commercial sex. This
includes recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision,
or obtaining that person. Specifically, Article 7 prescribes
punishment for a person "who induced or caused another person
to conduct prostitution by deceiving or confusing that
person," or by "intimidating or assaulting that person."
Article 63 of the Employment Security Law prohibits
recruiting, providing, or obtaining a person through force,
coercion, and possibly fraud, for work including commercial
sex acts, involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or
slavery. Specifically, it prescribes punishment for a person
"who exchanged labor, recruited or provided workers, or
engaged in these by means of physical violence, intimidation,
confinement, or any other unfair restraint on the mental or
physical freedom of the workers." The application of this
law to recruitment through fraud is based on the
interpretation that fraud is an unfair restraint on a
person's mental freedom.
Article 5 of the Labor Standards Law prohibits any act that
forces or coerces a person to work, including commercial sex
acts, involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or
slavery. This law is generally limited to acts by the
employer. Specifically, the law stipulates that "An employer
shall not force workers to work against their will by means
of physical violence, intimidation, confinement, or any other
TOKYO 00000782 005.2 OF 010
unfair restraint on the mental or physical freedom of the
The following laws are also available to prosecute
Article 220 of the Penal Code prohibits the confinement of
Article 225 prohibits any kidnapping act involving force or
fraud for profit, marriage, etc.
Article 15 of the Labor Standards Law requires employers to
clearly indicate working conditions, wages, and working hours
in contracts. When the wages, working hours, or working
conditions are not in compliance with the contract, the
worker may return home at the employer's expense.
The Child Welfare Law, Articles 34 and 60, prescribe
punishments for a person who keeps a child under his/her
control for the purpose of harming the child in mind or body.
The Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act, Article
73-2, prescribes punishment for a person who places an alien
under his control for the purpose of having the alien engage
in illegal work.
The Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and
Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children, Article 8,
prescribes punishment for a person who buys or sells a child
for the purpose of prostituting the child or producing child
B. The following sentencing guidelines apply to human
trafficking for both sexual and non-sexual purposes:
--Acts of trafficking carry a punishment of imprisonment with
labor between one and ten years.
--When the purpose cannot be established, acts of trafficking
carry a penalty of imprisonment with labor from three months
to five years for an adult victim, or from three months to
seven years for a child victim.
--Any person convicted of trafficking a victim to a foreign
country (including transportation from an overseas country to
Japan) can also be sentenced to imprisonment with labor for a
minimum of two years.
--Employers convicted of exploiting forced labor (including
sex work) are punishable by imprisonment with labor from one
to ten years, plus a 200,000-3,000,000 yen fine (Approx. USD
Out of 12 convictions for sex trafficking in 2007, courts
sentenced seven offenders to two to four years imprisonment
with labor, and five offenders received suspended sentences.
Criminals sentenced to imprisonment generally serve more of
their sentences in Japan than they do in the United States.
C. Labor trafficking offenses are punished under the Penal
Code, the Labor Standards Law, and the Employment Security
Law, as described in paragraph 'A' above. The punishments
for these offenses are described in paragraph 'B'.
Japanese law does not appear to provide punishment for labor
recruiters using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers
that result in workers being trafficked. See also 'A'.
According to the inter-agency task force, "a labor recruiter
in other countries who is engaged in recruitment using
knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers that result in
workers being exploited in Japan shall be punished if he/she
traffics in persons or is an accomplice of the labor
exploitation committed in Japan." Japanese law does punish
employers or labor agents who confiscate passports, switch
contracts without the worker's consent, or withhold payment
The two labor exploitation cases that were pending last year
resulted in convictions. Both offenders were sentenced to
two years imprisonment with labor. Criminals sentenced to
TOKYO 00000782 006.2 OF 010
imprisonment generally serve more of their sentences in Japan
than they do in the United States. Although there are
currently investigations of possible labor exploitation
pending, there are no cases pending in courts.
D. The minimum sentence for trafficking-in-persons is
generally shorter than the minimum sentence for rape. The
punishment for rape in Japan is imprisonment for at least
three years and up to fifteen years. The punishment for
sexual assault is six months to seven years imprisonment.
E. Prostitution is illegal in Japan, but narrowly defined.
Many sexual acts for payment that are considered to be
prostitution in the U.S. are legal in Japan, regulated as
"restricted sex-related businesses." Under the Prostitution
Prevention Law, both soliciting the services of a prostitute
and working as a prostitute are prohibited, but not criminal.
Activities facilitating prostitution, including those of
brothel owner, operator, pimp and enforcer, are criminalized
and carry punishments including incarceration and fines.
F. The Ministry of Justice provided the following
prosecution statistics for 2007 trafficking cases:
Persons charged 41
Cases sent to the Prosecutor: 12
Cases actually prosecuted: 11
Please see paragraphs 'B' and 'C' for information about
sentencing. The government criminally prosecutes employers
who switch contracts or terms of employment without a
worker's consent, use abuse or threats of abuse to keep
workers in a state of service, or withhold payment of
salaries to keep workers in a state of service.
G. The National Police Agency, Immigration Bureaus, and
Public Prosecutor's Offices conduct regular training for
their officers on the recognition, investigation, and
prosecution of trafficking crimes. Representatives from
international organizations and NGOs occasionally participate
in the training. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also
includes human trafficking in its consular officer training
curriculum, emphasizing the role of careful visa adjudication
as a preventive measure.
H. Japanese law enforcement authorities actively cooperate
with foreign governments on investigations. Cooperation with
Thai authorities led to the deportation and subsequent arrest
of a Japanese broker living in Thailand, and Indonesian
authorities were able to use information provided by Japanese
police to arrest a broker that had been sending victims to
Japan. Japan participates in a number of trafficking-related
international exchanges, including frequent information
exchanges via the International Criminal Police Organization.
I. The government can extradite trafficking offenders in
accordance with the Law of Extradition and bilateral
extradition treaties. To date, there has never been a request
from a foreign country to extradite a suspected human
trafficker. Article 2, item 9 of the Law of Extradition
prohibits the extradition of Japanese nationals unless a
specific extradition treaty exists. Japan has concluded
extradition treaties with the United States and Korea. If an
extradition treaty does not exist, under Japanese law
Japanese nationals may still be prosecuted in Japan for
crimes committed in a foreign country, including
J. There was no conclusive evidence of direct government
involvement in human trafficking.
L. There were no known cases of Japanese personnel involved
in international peacekeeping efforts committing trafficking
crimes or exploiting victims of trafficking.
M. Japan is a source country for child sex tourism.
TOKYO 00000782 007.2 OF 010
Japanese courts have extraterritorial jurisdiction over a
Japanese national who has sexual intercourse with a minor in
a foreign country in violation of the Act on Punishment of
Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child
Pornography and the Protection of Children. There were no
Japanese nationals prosecuted or convicted under this
extraterritorial provision in 2007.
5. PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS
A. Article 50 of the Immigration Control and Refugee
Recognition Act provides that the Minister of Justice may
grant "special permission to stay" to persons "under the
control of another due to trafficking in persons." This
status is granted only to persons recognized as trafficking
victims by immigration authorities, and prohibits victims
from operating businesses or earning income. Victims can
apply for a change in status to one that permits employment
and longer-term residence. According to NGO reports, it is
unlikely that victims were aware of this right.
B. The Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare's
prefecture-level network of Women's Consulting Center (WCC)
shelters were accessible to trafficking victims of any
nationality. Originally established by the Anti-Prostitution
Law as facilities to provide services and care to
Japanese-nationality prostitutes, the shelters are now used
primarily to protect victims of domestic violence. The
central government pays half the cost of a trafficking
victim's stay in a WCC, the rest is borne by the shelter
and/or local government. Forty victims were protected in
WCCs from January to December, 2007. These victims had
access to subsidized medical care. They also had access to
legal counsel in principle, but the government made little
effort to inform victims of this right. The government pays
for psychological care, but psychotherapists rarely had
foreign language ability. Although funding is also provided
for interpretation services, WCC staff confirmed that these
interpreters did not have training in victim counseling, and
private shelter operators questioned the effectiveness of
victim counseling via interpretation.
C. The Japanese government earmarks approximately USD
100,000 each year for subsidizing victims' care in private
NGO shelters that specialize in assisting victims of human
trafficking. Japan also gave USD 300,000 to IOM in 2007 for
repatriation and reintegration assistance, and USD 79,000 to
a Thai NGO to construct a dormitory for hill tribe students
that are vulnerable to trafficking.
D. Although police and immigration authorities all have
regular trafficking-related training programs in place, the
government did not have a formal system for identifying
victims of trafficking. According to a non-paper received
from the interagency task force, victim identification is
conducted by police and immigration officers "through
thoughtful interviews," using questions that meet the same
standard as U.S. or IOM victim identification questionnaires.
The Japanese government intends to distribute 1,000 copies
of "The IOM handbook on Direct Assistance to Victims of
Trafficking" to "relevant ministries and agencies" in March
2008. The government officially recognized 43 victims in
2007. Awareness of the procedures for transferring a victim
from law enforcement custody into the protection of a shelter
seemed to be widespread. Forty victims were protected in
WCCs in 2007.
E. When raiding sex-industry businesses, law enforcement
officials interviewed workers to determine whether any were
victims of trafficking. Because the government did not have
formal victim identification procedures, it was difficult to
evaluate the efficacy of these interviews. See also 'D'.
F. The government respected the rights of recognized
victims. The Embassy did not receive any reports of women
who were not recognized by the government as victims but were
otherwise classifiable as such being detained, jailed, fined,
or otherwise prosecuted.
TOKYO 00000782 008.2 OF 010
G. The government encouraged victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of trafficking, but did not
provide victims with an environment conducive to cooperation.
"Japan's Action Plan of Measures to Combat Trafficking in
Persons" does not mention encouraging TIP victims to assist
in investigations or prosecutions. The MHLW-distributed
"Manual for Assisting Trafficking Victims in Women's
Consulting Centers" directs WCCs to "coordinate with police
and other agencies" but does not give any clear procedures
for assisting victims in filing civil or criminal complaints
against their alleged traffickers. The guidelines only apply
"if a victim wants to prosecute," but do not give any
instructions for encouraging victims to do so. According to
a survey of WCC operators, neither WCC staff members nor
victims were aware that free legal assistance was available.
To date there have been no cases where legal assistance was
provided to a victim by the government. Police frequently
sought victims' cooperation to build cases, but the lack of
native-language counseling, the relative confinement of the
WCCs, and the inability of victims to generate income led
most victims to want to repatriate as quickly as possible.
H. WCCs and NGO shelters employed security guards, took
steps to conceal the location of their facilities, and worked
with local police to ensure the protection of victims. The
central government shared the cost of providing security at
WCCs. If the police perceive a possible threat to a victim,
they may send the victim to another city or prefecture for
shelter. There are a number of provisions in Japanese law to
protect the anonymity of a victim during courtroom
proceedings when there is a threat to his or her safety. If
the victim is under 18 years old, the WCC will work with a
local Child Guidance Center to provide shelter and services
to the victim. See also 'B'.
I. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided training for
Consular Officers on trafficking in persons, including victim
recognition and the preventative role of careful visa
adjudication. There were no reported cases of Japanese
nationals being trafficked outside of Japan. The Japanese
government maintained relationships with local NGOs in
foreign countries to coordinate prevention efforts. See also
'C'. Japan worked with IOM to provide repatriation and
reintegration assistance. IOM received USD 300,000 form the
Japanese government in 2007 for this purpose.
J. There were no reported cases of Japanese nationals being
repatriated to Japan as victims of trafficking.
K. Following are some of the NGOs and IOs that work with
trafficking victims in Japan:
In addition to providing repatriation and reintegration
assistance through a grant by Japan, IOM provides victim
interview services on a voluntary basis on request, conducts
case-worker training, and runs awareness-raising campaigns.
The U.S.-based NGO Polaris Project operates a telephone
helpline and provides victim services at limited temporary
shelter facilities. Polaris also conducts regular
HELP and Saalaa both operate shelters and hotlines.
Friendship Asia House Cosmos operates a shelter.
The Japan Network Against Trafficking in Persons (JNATIP) is
an umbrella organization for NGO representatives, academics,
and lawyers that conduct research on trafficking in persons,
as well as awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns.
Amnesty International Japan conducts awareness-raising and
advocacy campaigns in support of potential victims of labor
TOKYO 00000782 009.2 OF 010
A. The government recognizes that trafficking is a problem
in Japan and understands that human trafficking is an
egregious infringement of human rights.
B. To raise awareness about human trafficking inside Japan,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Police
Agency distributed more than 500,000 leaflets, brochures, and
pamphlets in 2007 that describe the trauma of
trafficking-in-persons, report what the government is doing
to combat trafficking, and explain how a victim can find
assistance. These materials have been distributed to
immigration offices and police stations throughout Japan.
The pamphlets also urge Japanese nationals to help victims
and gives telephone numbers for the police, immigration
bureau offices, embassies, and NGO shelters. In addition,
the Cabinet Office distributed 25,000 posters stating that
"Trafficking-in-persons is a grave violation of human rights"
and "Prostitution is a root cause of trafficking-in-persons."
These posters were circulated nationwide to local
governments, police stations, and immigration bureau offices.
The Japanese government also hosted three
information-sharing conferences including trafficking in
persons discussions that involved participation from all
relevant agencies, NGOs, IOs, and the diplomatic community.
C. The relationship between the government and NGOs improved
during the last year. At NPA-organized conferences, NGO
representatives were given wide latitude in making
presentations to the diplomatic, NGO, and law enforcement
community. NPA, MOFA, and MHLW officials also regularly
attended meetings and conferences on human trafficking
organized by NGOs or IOM, and invite representatives from
those organizations to attend government trainings and
conferences. The government also sponsored a JNATIP member
to attend the UN Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking
conference in Vienna. Unlike in 2006, NGOs were once again
utilized to provide services or shelter to victims in 2007.
The MHLW also surveyed the NGO community this year to
identify interpreters with experience or training in
providing counseling and psychological care to victims of
trafficking. The MHLW has not yet established a system for
making this resource available to WCCs nation-wide. Although
IOM reported that the Tokyo Immigration Bureau
occasionally asked IOM case-workers to conduct victim
identification interviews, the standard continued to be that
victim identification was conducted by government officials.
D. Immigration officials screen for victims of trafficking
via Pre-Clearance Systems at some airports in Taiwan and
Korea, and a Secondary Examination System at the main
airports in Japan. In addition, Japan stations document
experts to airports in Thailand as liaison officers where
they train Thai officials to recognize fraudulent Japanese
travel documents. MOFA Consular Affairs Bureau officials
examine visa application, issuance, and refusal patterns from
source countries such as Indonesia and Thailand to enact
safeguards to prevent potential victims of trafficking from
getting entry visas. The number of Entertainer Visas issued
to Filipinas fell from 85,000 in 2004 to 5,700 in 2007.
Entertainer Visas issued to Indonesians fell from 4,000 in
2005 to 600 in 2007. Issuances of Spouse Visas to Filipinas,
which had been increasing annually until last year, fell from
7,300 in 2006 to 6,100 in 2007.
E. As noted in paragraph 3, Japan established the Prime
Minister's Inter-Ministerial Liaison Committee (Task Force)
on Trafficking in Persons in April 2004 under the guidance of
the Prime Minister's Office, which coordinates TIP-related
activities among the four relevant governmental agencies:
MOFA, MOJ, NPA, and MHLW. The National Personnel Authority
and the National Public Service Ethics Board are charged with
preventing and investigating corruption among government
officials in Japan.
F. Japan's "Action Plan of Measures to Combat Trafficking in
Persons" was released in December 2004. The Action Plan
established measures to prevent and "eradicate" (prosecute)
trafficking in persons, as well as protect victims. Civil
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society representatives served as advisors to the
Inter-Ministerial TIP task force, which formulated the
National Action Plan. The Government posted the NAP on the
Internet and engages in numerous public activities both
domestically and internationally to publicize the plan.
Specific venues used to disseminate information on the NAP
are listed above in 'B'.
G. Measures to reduce demand for commercial sex focused on
prosecution. Police continued the wide-spread crackdowns on
red-light districts under the Anti-Prostitution Law and the
Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Businesses. The
increase in police enforcement has made a visible impact on
the sex industry, driving the majority of traditional
brothels in major metropolitan areas out of business. The
Cabinet Office's poster campaign described above in 'B' is
aimed at reducing demand, unequivocally linking prostitution
with trafficking in persons.
H. To warn potential child sex tourists about the
prosecution they will face in Japan, MOFA revised the
government's handbook for international travelers to contain
an advisory that persons who break laws can be prosecuted
domestically. The warning specifically mentions
prostitution, child prostitution, and child pornography. In
addition, the Japan Association of Travel Agents, the
Overseas Tour Operators Association of Japan, and 60 of
Japan's biggest tour companies are signatory to the Code of
Conduct to Protect Children from Sexual Exploitation in
Travel and Tourism. The Ministry of Justice prepared a
poster warning potential sex tourism offenders of prosecution
for display in airport departure lounges, but they had not
yet been posted as of this writing.
I. Japan implements the same measures to prevent its
nationals who are deployed abroad from engaging in or
facilitating trafficking as it does for private citizens.
See also 'G' and 'H'. There were no reports of Japanese
nationals deployed as a part of a peacekeeping or other
similar mission engaging in or facilitating severe forms of
trafficking or exploiting victims of such trafficking.
7. TIP HERO
Embassy Tokyo nominates Kaori Mutoh as a TIP Hero. Mutoh is
the director of Saalaa, a shelter that provides housing as
well as a wide range of other services to trafficking
victims. After joining Saalaa in 1997, Ms. Mutoh became the
Secretary General a year later. Saalaa also operates a
victim hotline and conducts a variety of awareness-raising
campaigns targeting government officials, care providers, and
potential victims. Ms. Mutoh is a polished public speaker -
she receives regular invitations to give presentations about
victim care, from NGOs, IOs, and the Japanese government. In
an environment where the government focuses heavily on
government shelters to provide victim care, the fact that
many of these shelters automatically refer victims to Saalaa
is a testament to the confidence that the anti-trafficking
community has in the organization that she manages. Embassy
officers are consistently impressed with her unsurpassed
understanding of the physical, emotional, and psychological
needs of victims, and her ability to effectively articulate
those needs to government officials. Ms. Mutoh's thorough
knowledge of victim care, her dedicated advocacy on behalf of
victims, and her skilled management of Saalaa make her a true
hero in the fight against trafficking in persons.