The Mainichi Shimbun [Tokyo, Japan]
November 10, 2022
By Ayano Tanaka
News on the arrest of a man suspected of mediating child prostitution through orgies went viral after it emerged that participants included a junior high school teacher, a doctor, a Buddhist priest, a self-defense forces member and a certified public accountant. Investigative sources, however, say the suspect likely did not choose the members based on their occupations.
Ryota Takahashi, 31, held orgies consisting of a female high school student he knew and eight or more guests he gathered at a luxury hotel in Tokyo a total of three times from April to June 2020. He had collected 25,000 yen (roughly $170) in cash from each guest as a participation fee. Some of the attendees were reportedly regulars.
Between June and August 2022, 24 people were either arrested or reported to prosecutors by Kanagawa Prefectural Police on suspicion of violating Japan’s law banning child prostitution and pornography for attending the orgies.
Takahashi had gathered the participants through a Twitter account after implicitly suggesting that the girl engaging in prostitution was a high school student. However, instead of inviting everyone who sought to attend the parties, he reportedly selected people who were polite when texting, and who replied frequently.
Investigative sources believe that the reason for this was that Takahashi did not want the parties to be disrupted by abusive or thoughtless participants. They told the Mainichi, “Takahashi didn’t select the members depending on their occupations. Teachers and doctors were chosen only as an end result.”
The sources revealed that Takahashi did not host the orgies to gain profit. Almost all of the money he received from the participants was used to pay hotel charges and other expenses, so he did not receive any income. Takahashi has also reportedly admitted to the charges and told police that he “had hosted the parties as just a hobby.”
Analyzing Takahashi’s selection of participants from among those who applied, Yukiko Imai, an associate professor of criminal psychology at Nara University, commented, “It’s possible that the system gave participants a sense of specialness, superiority, and the satisfaction that they ‘were chosen,’ and motivated them to repeatedly attend.”
Kazuaki Hashimoto, professor of criminal psychology and clinical abuse at International University of Health and Welfare Graduate School, said, “Despite the high ethical standards required for the professions, there is no end to the number of people who get arrested over similar incidents. I hope that people in these positions will uphold a higher degree of awareness.”