It seems business is booming for the love hotel industry. The number of registered businesses has jumped by a whopping 2,700 hotels since the beginning of the year, a hefty number considering that, at the end of 2010, there were only 3,692 love dens on the books.
While it looks like the entire country has decided to tackle head-on Japan’s infamous declining birth rate problem, the apparent boom in love hotels is less due to demand than it is to changes in the adult entertainment law that we reported on last December.
The 2011 revised adult entertainment law is aimed at regulating the operation of deai-kissa and gisou love hotels, or establishments registered as hotel or ryokan that are effectively operating as love hotels to get around legal restrictions on things like location. Gisou love hotels have managed to park themselves far beyond the borders limiting normal adult entertainment venues to certain areas. Some are even located within spitting distance of elementary schools and municipal buildings such as libraries, and many believe this may contribute to child prostitution, such as enjo kosai, despite the fact that people under 18 are not supposed to be allowed in.
The revisions have broadened the definition of love hotel, and closed many of the loopholes previously used by gisou love hotels. New hotels must, of course, be planned, constructed and registered according to regulations. The 2011 revisions contain a vested rights clause, however, allowing all existing gisou love hotels to be exempt from legal action if they formally registered as love hotels before January 31. Needless to say, many took advantage of the opportunity.
And residents are saying, what’s the point? The law, meant to keep love hotels away from things like schools and hospitals has instead given the go for thousands of the businesses to operate openly.
A representative from the “Rid Japan Of Gisou Love Hotels” party told Sankei News, “By allowing for vested rights, nothing changes, and now hotels that hide near schools before can operate out in the open.” Uh huh.
The owner of a love hotel argued against the accusation that gisou hotels can contribute to the rise in child prostitution, saying, “There’s been a big increase in ‘city hotels’ that are aimed towards couples, not just traditional love hotels.” With regards to minors using the facilities, he added, “We can’t ask everyone’s age. All we can do is post a sign saying under-18s aren’t allowed.”
Jake’s note: It turns out that the new love hotels are great earthquake shelters as well. Solidly built and once you’re in bed with your partner and you turn on the “body sonic” *–the earthquake tremors won’t bother you at all or become indistinguishable from other more intimate tremors. The earthquake has also resulted in a rise in marriages and hook-ups as the confrontation with mortality has made people realize the importance of carnality, and intimate relationships.)
Read the original article here.