The Consumer and Environmental Protection Division of the National Police Agency of Japan announced on 21 February 2008, through their bulletin, that they protected 43 women as victims of human trafficking in Japan in 2007 (58 in 2006). There were 22 Filipinas, 11 Indonesians, 5 South Koreans, 4 Thais and one Japanese. The status of residence of the 42 women, excluding 1 Japanese, were; 24 entertainers, 8 overstays, 4 illegal immigrants and 6 short stays. With regard to their age; 1 was under the age of twenty, 27 were under the age of twenty-five, 13 were under the age of thirty, and 2 were under the age of thirty-five.
Many of the victims were "forced to incur huge debt and forced to be involved in prostitution" or "deprived of their passports, and forced to work as hostesses and also date with night club customers."
Regarding the 41 offenders who were arrested in 40 cases, 24 were Japanese and 17 were foreign nationals.
The total number of trafficking victims in 2007 was the lowest since the National Police Agency began making the information public in 2001. There were no documents describing why the number of victims has decreased.
In this connection, the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice of Japan has announced the number of women who were protected and given support for repatriation as victims of human trafficking since 2005, but the figures were slightly different from those announced by the National Police Agency. In 2007, the announcements by the Immigration Bureau and the National Police Agency also showed a slight disparity with regard to the nationality and status of the resident. (7 March 2008)
·National police Agency New Information: Situation of Human Trafficking in 2007 (21 February 2008) [Japanese]
Ministry of Justice: 40 Victims of Trafficking Protected in Japan in 2007 (Hurights Osaka News in Brief) (February 2008)
Japan: Offense of Trafficking Applied to Case of Japanese Woman for the First Time (Hurights Osaka News in Brief 2007)