A business operator in the sex-working industry sued the Japanese government on Wednesday on grounds of discrimination after her business was excluded from the nation’s COVID-19 cash handout program.
According to foreign media, the business representative claimed that the program to support small companies hit hard by the pandemic has failed to include companies dispatching sex workers, “love hotels” operators, and other businesses in the sex industry.
In addition, inquiries made by the business representative were allegedly rejected by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency in June when she requested help following a revenue fall of 80 percent two months earlier.
Foreign media reported that an official claimed such businesses “have previously been excluded from public support, such as ones following natural disasters,” and added that the agency is merely following the state’s previous responses.
The statement has since been deemed “irrational” by the representative’s lawyers who argue that she has maintained filing income tax returns and operates her business in accordance with the nation’s laws regulating the sex industry.
Supporters of the plaintiff have been reported to believe that the government’s response may have been given out of fear of public backlash once they find out taxpayers’ money is being used to support sex industries.