Stacey Dooley Investigates Young Sex For Sale In Japan is a 2017 Documentary by the British Broadcasting Center. Japan is a top hotspot when it comes to sexual exploitation of underage children. The country has been subject of intense worldwide criticism for its attitudes towards underage. The censure ranges from the presence of clubs where men pay to interact with schoolgirls to comic books depicting child rape, and suggestive photographs of very young children. Possession of child pornography had not been illegal until just three years ago. In the documentary, Stacey Dooley, who is one of BBCs most well-known documentary makers, carries out a hard-hitting and powerful investigation. She goes to Tokyo, Japan to find out what impact the piece of legislation outlawing child pornography has had. She also tries to find out if the attitudes towards the sexual exploitation of children have changed at all.
In the course of her investigation, Dooley uncovers a culture in which sexually explicit images of underage girls are prevalent and used for commercial purposes. She first goes to a legal JK cafe in Tokyo in which teenage girls are paid to keep older men company. She is informed that it is perfectly normal for such men to hold hands and talk about matters of sexual nature with girls as young as fifteen years clad in school uniform. Dooley also finds out that there is an even more disturbing legal grey area in the country known as Chako Ero in which children as young as six years are photographed or filmed while wearing erotic clothing. She interviews an individual who produces these films and a self-confessed pedophile. She does this in an attempt to find out just why certain aspects of the Japanese culture appear to encourage indecent sexual exploitation of children. In addition to the law banning child pornography, the documentary also explores what else Japanese authorities are doing to discourage the normalization of child sexual exploitation of children. Dooley meets with volunteer workers from a charitable organization trying to assist susceptible girls. She also interviews the head of the Japanese polices Juvenile Section to get an idea of the measures they are taking to protect such girls.
While filming Stacey Dooley Investigates Young Sex For Sale In Japan, Dooley was held by Japanese police for about two hours. She was questioned after her crew filmed footage of two schoolgirls walking into the cafe mentioned above. In another incidence, the crew is confronted by a group of men who object to being filmed. They can be seen telling Dooley that there should be no movies and that she should delete the footage. She argues that she cannot delete any footage since the crew has not broken any laws. An argument breaks out before the police eventually arrive and interpose. The officers ask Dooley to erase the film.
According to Japanese culture and norms, some of the actions contained in Stacey Dooley Investigates Young Sex For Sale In Japan are perfectly acceptable. For example, the cafes in which schoolgirls are paid to keep older men company are meant for businessmen who are single. Such men work some rather long hours, and are then expected to attend dinner with fellow staff members after work. While these dinners are voluntary, they are in a way mandatory for employees who wish to move up the corporate ladder. Hence, they do not get any time to get into romantic relationships. This situation highlights how people are overworked and spend a lot of time working. However, it is worth noting that no sexual activities take place in those cafes. In the documentary, Dooley mentions that the men sometimes sleep on the girls laps, which is true. The only reason they do this is because of exhaustion resulting from work. For most of the clients of these cafes, company of the schoolgirls is the only interaction with other humans that they get outside of work. It is their only form of relaxation that prevents them from burning out. Otherwise, their normal working day would involve waking up, going to work, working for long hours, going back home, and sleeping.
Dooley states that it would be acceptable if the girls working in those cafes were aged eighteen years and above. However, it is worth noting that in Japan, the minimum age for having consensual sex is eighteen years. Considering that no sexual activities take place in those cafes, then there is nothing wrong with girls below the age of eighteen working there. Also, Dooley states that there are no organizations run by the government are tasked with minding the welfare of the so-called JK girls. According to estimates, only about 5,000 girls ply their trade in these cafes. As Japan has a population of more than 127 million, then forming an organization would be uncalled for. Perhaps the only reasonable argument that Dooley puts through is that the cafes can be a gateway to prostitution and other aspect of the sex industry. However, it would be difficult for viewers of the documentary to believe this claim since she does not back it up with evidence.
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