Police target teens offering sex online, handle 89 cases April-Sept.

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Police in Tokyo and eight other Japanese prefectures dealt with 89 teenagers between April and September for offering sex or selling underwear over the Internet, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

Under a trial program, when improper advertisements believed to have been posted by under-18s are found, undercover juvenile officers contact the authors. They later identify themselves as officers upon making direct contact, before handing the minors over to their parents.

Of the 89 postings, 88 were made by girls and one by a boy. About half of the teens were previous victims of child prostitution, with 60 having no history with the police.

With an average age of 16 and the youngest a 13-year-old junior high school girl, 53 offered to sell underwear, 33 offered sex and three offered both.

Additionally, the police dealt with eight teenagers aged 18 and 19, according to the agency.

About 2,000 online postings were found to be improper under the measure and direct contact was made in 115 cases. In one case, police contact with a high school girl led to the arrest of a man who allegedly paid her for sex, the agency said.

The NPA said all police departments across Japan are required to implement the measure on Oct. 21.

October 10, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

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