There are a lot of textbooks in the area of Tourism. Some of them deal with the issue of Sex Tourism. For example, Poon describes promiscuous Japanese behaviourin Manila in her masterpiece “Tourism, Technology and Competitive Strategies”(1993). Nash also states that Sex Tourism is a typical Japanese issue (1996).
Japanese mainly go to Manila and Bangkok for the purpose of prostitution.However is Sex Tourism only a Japanese issue?
First of all, Poon wrote it following the article written by O’Grady who was a writer, activist and researcher in Sex Tourism especially the issue of Paedophiles in Bangkok. He researched on the actual condition of Sex Tourism and he gave a lot of examples. Graph1.1 shows the number of sex tourists in his article divided into nationality. Graph1.2 is the figure of Paedophiles and Sex Tourists who have been arrested by Asian police, according to ECPAT which O’Grady works for.
According to the following data, O’Grady mentioned not only Japanese but also Germans, Americans,Australians and other European nations. However Poon picked up only the Japanese figures. She is German so she did not deal with high figures for German.
Secondly, Nash described Japanese Sex Tourism in Manila as follows;
Japanese tourists can travel to the Philippines by Japan Airlines on a tour arranged by the Japanese Tourist Bureau and stay in a Japanese-owned hotel.
This statement is not the truth.When he wrote this article, Japan Airlines had only one flight from Tokyo to Manila. People living in the Western part of Japan used to fly direct flight by Thai Airways International from Osaka to Manila and people living in the central part used to fly China Airlines from Nagoya to Manila via Taipei. Philippine Airlines also had a direct flight from Tokyo to Manila.So the Japanese do not always only fly Japan Airlines. In addition, the Japanese Tourist Bureau (in fact, Japan Travel Bureau) is actually the biggest travel agency in Japan, but it did not arrange the tour to Manila a lot. Tours for Manila, include prostitution, are arranged by smaller wholesaler agents such as Nokyo Kanko, Yusen travel through the operator JTA. Then they stay not only in a Japanese-owned hotel but also in worldwide chain hotels, as there is only one big Japanese-owned hotel in Manila.His statement is unfounded. There are much more important issues in Sex Tourism than just the small matter that he mentioned. As he is American,he lays the blame upon Japan from America.
Thirdly, there are few textbooks written by Japanese authors in the tourism area because there are few Japanese tourism researchers. Thus it is quite difficult to find an article about Sex Tourism from the perspective of the Japanese. However here is a book about Sex Tourism in Japanese male travellers written by two Japanese female researchers, Muroi and Sasaki. They explained that Japanese culture has been tolerant to prostitution from nature. To prove it, they cited 14thcentury’s Japanese examples. However it is obvious that each European country had open prostitution during the renaissance period. The historical approach is quite nonsense.
In addition, they emphasised the effectiveness of demonstrating. Especially, huge demonstration occurred when Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki visited Manila in 1981. They pointed out that the number of Japanese visitors to Manila decreased after the demonstration.
Not only these two but also many researchers show the ratio of the males’ travellers to prove the destination of Sex Tourism. For example Leheny (1995) shows that male travellers make up 75% of Japanese arrival in Thailand compared to 57% of the overall Japanese outbound market. And he also mentioned “Men still constitute 60%-75% of the outbound Japanese market to many Southeast Asian states, largely due to the appeal of sex tourism.” However it is well known that it is very difficult for Japanese businessmen to take long holidays such as one week or more. On the contrary, Japanese businesswomen do not mind taking long holidays and they prefer America and Europe rather than male travellers. That is why Japanese female travellers mainly tend to go to long destination and male travellers mainly go to Asia.
Muroi’s academic background is English Language and Sasaki’s one is Feminism and Woman’s Study. They are not Tourism researchers. That is why their targets are to protect women’s rights and to improve their conditions and they do not have interest in how to improve tourism environment. In this thesis the main subjects are why Sex Tourism is not pass away and who profits from Sex Tourism from the perspective of Tourism development and policy making process of tourism, not Feminism and Gender’s Study.
Now a simple question arises. Why has prostitution developed mainly in Manila and Bangkok and why have they become “the brothel of Asia”? It is true that both countries have been suffering from bad economical condition. Although the countries in Central Asia and those in Indo-China Peninsula such as Laos and Cambodiaare worse economically, they do not have such a large prostitution trade.In addition Seoul used to be a major destination for Sex Tourism up until 5 years ago. Why have Manila, Bangkok and Seoul become the destinations for prostitution?
These three countries, the Philippines, Thailand and the Republic of Korea, have elements in common.They have formed an alliance with the United States. They, hence, have to accept the existence of the U.S. Armed Forces’ Bases.
Also in Japan there are huge military bases in the Islands of Okinawa. Thus there are a lot of brothels for American GIs. They have sexual intercourse not only with prostitutes but also with local girls, sometimes it is reported in the cases of extreme sexual behaviour. They had been involved these types of sexual cases wherever American bases exist.
That is why the hypothesis that prostitution in Asia has close relationship with the U.S. military bases has been based.
3.1 History of Sex Tourism in Manila
How has Sex Tourism developed in Asia? In this chapter Manila is chosen and investigated as a typical example.
In 1965 the Vietnamese War broke out. The U.S. Armed Forces had been stationed in Asian allies. The Base in Manila was one of the most important bases and a lot of GIs gathered there. Then the U.S. Armed Forces developed the R&R (rest and recreation) policy. It was to comfort soldiers exhausted on the battlefield and it, of course, included sexual comfort. That is why brothels grew in Manila.
After the Vietnamese War ended, the numbers of soldiers stationed at the base in Manila decreased and the brothels lost their main customers. Thus tourists took the place of GIs as customers in the brothels. Sex Tourists came not only from Western Countries such as the United States, Germany and Australia but also fromJapan, who was a newcomer. After the World War II, Japan was reconstruct which was a miracle and the economy grew drastically. However almost all Japanese could not speak English at all. Thus Japanese Sex Tourists made up a group and pulled together. It was quite conspicuous.
In 1981 Zenko Suzuki visited Manila for the first time as a Japanese Prime Minister. At that time a lot of Filipino women demonstrated in opposition to Sex Tourism from Japan.
Sex Tourism from Japan has been hushed since then.As a result a new movement came about. Filipino women began to come to Japan to work at the nightclubs and the cabarets as hostesses. They were called “Japayuki-san”. Yuki means “going” in Japanese. San is a title of honour as Miss. Not everyone but some of them were forced to become prostitutes in Japan. In many cases girls was not informed previously of becoming a prostitute. Yakuza, Japanese Mafia networked extensively,operated more or less.
Many Japanese men followed Japayuki-san even after they went back to Philippines. In 1990s airfares came down gradually, so it got easier and easier for Japanese men to go to Manila for prostitution.
According to Leheny (1995),the process of Sex Tourism development in Bangkok is the same in Manila’s case. The origin of the prostitution was the R&R for U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnamese War.
3.2 Why Isn’t Sex Tourism Environment Improved?
Muroi and Sasaki emphasised the effect of the demonstration against Sex Tourism (1997).
However it is hard to say that environment of Sex Tourism has been improved.Why isn’t it improved at all?
First of all, Filipino women demonstrated only against Japan. However it is obvious the root of all evils is the U.S. Armed Forces. If the grass is cut and its root remains on the ground, the grass grows again. If they demonstrate against Sex Tourism, the main object should be the United States.They have to insist that the United States should change the military system such as the R&R policy. Otherwise during existing the base of the U.S.Armed Forces the brothels will always continue to exist.
Secondly, the Government admits the existence of prostitution, and sometimes promotes it. Although antiprostitution laws exist, they were routinely broken with the complicity of government officials (Leheny 1995). Government officials are conspiring with local agencies, look over their illegality and accept a bribe. The Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) and the HeiShou Dang (Chinese Mafia) are behind the local agencies. Thus earnings from prostitution go abroad after all but officials do not mind because they have already got enough bribes. They mind not the national finance but their own pocket.
Even though a huge demonstration occurred, the environment of Sex Tourism will never improve without sweeping away the Government corruption. The behaviour of the Government is the most important factor in reforming the environment.
3.3 Who profits from Sex Tourism?
–The “Black” Hegemony–
The new actor will make its appearance in this chapter. Graph3.1 shows who the owner of R&R business, such as night clubs, sauna baths, hotels and massage clinics,is (Holden 1983). Filipino owned and/or operated establishment is 75%.19% are Chinese owned and/or operated, and 6% are American owned and/or operated.
On the contrary, Graph3.2 shows who capitalises these R&R business. Surprisingly the truth is revealed. The Chinese control approximately 80% of R&R business.
According to Holden’s Tourism Prostitution Development, “several Filipino owners and operators have remarked: “We cannot compete with the Chinese capital. They are united;
they help each other and take care of their kind. Filipino businessmen,on the other hand, are individualistic. Therefore, we are easy prey to pressures by the Chinese.’
It is true that the Chinese has huge “black” hegemony in the Sex Industry in Asia. The United States, that always let countries all over the world maintain human rights, cannot accuse it because their GI are the most important customers of it. They conspire with each other and put the blame on Japanese Tourists. It is favourable propaganda for the Chinese Government that the Japanese are the lustful and naughty nation because the Chinese Government wants to claim more reparations for the framed-up Nan-king Massacre during the World War II. After all, the international power politics or Hegemony can determine and control the information to the world.
3.4 To Overcome Sex Tourism
–Efforts of Korea–
In Chapter 3.2 the main reason why Sex Tourism has still continued to exist because of the corrupt constitution of the local Government. Then in Chapter 3.3 it is mentioned that HeiShou Dang (Chinese Mafia) finally gets large amounts of earnings from the prostitution. It is clear that no merit from Sex Tourism is in host country. However it is difficult to wash their hands of the business of Sex Tourism. What can the countries of Sex Tourism destination get out of Sex Tourism?
Korea used to be one of the most flourishing destinations for Sex Tourism until 5 years ago. Various sex businesses had been operating. For example two kinds of barber’s shop exist in Korea. One is the normal barber’s shop. The other is for prostitution with cheaper price. The most famous prostitution event in Korea is Kisaeng Party. Originally Kisaeng meant pretty girls. However it is true that Kisaeng Party is the stage of prostitution. On the flights from Japanese citiesto Seoul almost all passengers were male travellers and the atmosphere on it was pub-like. The female travellers do not want to visit Korea any more.
To get rid of this situation,Korean Government decided to hold the Visit Korea Year in 1994 and discover new tourist destinations. The Korea National Tourism Corporation (KNTC) in 1996 was renamed the Korea National Tourism Organization (KNTO).
First of all, in Korea they have a unique towel whose surface is rough like sand and which can extract a lot of dirt from the bodies easily. Most Korean families have it and all the public baths have workers who scrub customers’ body by using this towel. KNTC took notice of it and developed it to beauty treatment for young women. KNTC named it “Akasuri” and promoted it to Japanese women.Aka means dirt and suri means scrubbing. Akasuri Aesthetic Tour, suddenly,became famous to Japanese women who wanted to become more beautiful.
Secondly, Korean food is known to be delicious and healthy. For instance, the Korean barbecue had a good reputation for every generation. They, hence, promoted the Gourmet Tour. As a result not only young women but also groups of families began to visit Korea.
Thirdly, they promoted shopping tours, too. Duty-free shops at Kim Po International Airport in Seoul deal in various merchandises at reasonable prices. There are several big duty free shops in the city centre of Seoul. In 1997 a financial crises attacked some Asian countries. Then duty free shop at Bangkok Airport, suddenly, changed its prices to US$ so travellers could not profit from exchange rates. On the other hand Korean duty free shops kept pricing in KRW. Hence a lot of travellers rushed to Seoul to buy the duty free merchandises.
Korea can overcome Sex Tourism this moment. It is obvious that new ideas and devices could be derived with the determination of the Government. After all, instead of Sex Tourists,a lot of women and family groups visit Korea. Since last year all the flights to Korea have been almost fully booked. The relationship between Korea and Japan has not been good for a long time but recently the movement tounderstand each other is growing. Tourism must have contributed much to the intimacy of international relations.
Open and Easy Behaviour causes Immoral Tourism
Generally speaking, tourists are more likely to behave themselves openly and easily during their travelling rather than daily life. Sometimes their behaviour is extreme and immoral. Prostitution is an example of the most extreme behaviour and Paedophilia is an inexcusable crime. However there are little difference between them. Their root comes from same mentality.
Looking at the resort destinations for European such as Majorca, in the Mediterranean Sea, a lot of tourists have sexual intercourse not only with prostitutes but also with other travellers.Souvenir shops sell obscene toys and postcards. (Wednesday Tourism Seminar in UNL on 13/10/99) They incite the immoral behaviour of tourists. Tourists act whatever they want where they stay.
To create atmosphere that tourists want to have sexual intercourse is also part of Sex Tourism. In this sense European who visit Majorca to find aventure cannot look without concern on another’s misfortune. All kinds of Sex Tourism should be abolished.The Government must play an important role in order to abolish such immoral tourism. Both host countries’ Government and guest countries’ Government have to grapple with the issue.
Once tourism industries embark upon Sex Tourism, it is very difficult for them to wash their hand of it. Certainly, it can earn foreign currencies quite easily. However the earning money goes abroad again. After all host countries cannot make profit from Sex Tourism.
Once tourism industries embark upon Sex Tourism, they stop elaborating to devise new tourism destinations.They give up improving tourism environment. As a result, more and more they have to rely on Sex Tourism. Sex Tourism is like drug.
To get rid of it, the most important point is the Government’s resolution. Because Government officials often conspire with agencies and accept bribe, the Government must prohibit bribe very strictly. Then it should continue to elaborate to develop new tourism destinations. The role of the Government is very important in this sense.
In addition some researchers tend to conceal their native countries commit Sex Tourism. They are apt to pick up favourable statistics and put the blame on other countries. Everyone has to reveal the truth.
Finally, there is no bystander in Sex Tourism. When someone behaves immorally during his/her travel, it is same as Sex Tourism. Of course, tourism makes our mind open and easy, but there is a limit to everything. Every traveller has to think about people in the host country more. Otherwise tourism could be only the cause of the international conflict. From now on the role of tourism is making good communications, instead of inciting immoral behaviour. Tourism should produce happiness for people in both host countries and guest countries. It is often said “Tourists are the ambassadors of international friendship.”
Even today, however, Sex Tourism still continues to increase all over the world.