The National Police Agency has announced plans to implement a nationwide scheme aimed at offering guidance to young girls offering prostitution services or selling their underwear online.
Police say collated data suggests that the number of cases of underage prostitution reported last year was around 6,800, a decrease on the previous year. However, the number of cases of underage prostitution that were arranged online has continued to increase for the last three years running, Fuji TV reported Friday.
In an attempt to prevent young women from falling into prostitution from a young age, the NPA said it will roll out nationwide a scheme that has been tried in Shizuoka since 2009. Under the scheme, girls offering sex for cash or their underwear online are approached by care workers and offered guidance.
According to the NPA, 52 girls under the age of 18 have been taken into protective custody and potentially saved from a life of prostitution in Shizuoka since 2009, Fuji reported.
The scheme was expanded to 10 prefectures in April of this year, since which time 89 girls under 18 were approached and offered guidance. Of those, 43 confessed to having been involved in cases of underage prostitution.
An NPA spokesman said the scheme has produced reliable results and will be expanded nationwide from Nov 21.