Japanese told to avoid prostitutes on mainland

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 September, 2007, 12:00am

Japanese diplomats have warned their compatriots against visiting prostitutes on the mainland, saying those who are caught by the authorities faced fines and detention, and could be banned from re-entering the mainland.

A notice issued by the Japanese embassy in Beijing this month said: 'Recently, there has been an increase in the number of people being detained by police in China because of prostitution acts. You could be detained for 10 to15 days and have to pay a penalty of up to 5,000 yuan.

'You may be expelled and get banned from entering the country for some time. When you visit China, please respect Chinese rules strictly and refrain from such acts.'

An official from the Japanese consulate in Hong Kong said yesterday figures were not available for the number of Japanese caught visiting prostitutes on the mainland.

Although the number of people being punished for such visits was rising, there were no indications that the number of Japanese involved was increasing, the official said.

Tong Zeng, president of the Chinese Civilian Association for Safeguarding the Diaoyu Islands, said lawbreakers should be punished irrespective of nationality, but the issue should not be politicised.

'Of course, cases like the Japanese orgy incident in Zhuhai will inevitably have triggered [mainlanders'] resentment against the Japanese,' Mr Tong said.

In 2003, about 400 Japanese businessmen hired up to 500 prostitutes in a Zhuhai hotel, sparking an uproar on the mainland after it was discovered the scandal took place around the September 18 anniversary of the 1931 Mukden Incident, when Japanese forces took Shenyang in a prelude to the second Sino-Japanese war.

Chilly Sino-Japanese relations have thawed in the past year, with former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe visiting the mainland after taking office late last year.