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Reply from the Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography

November 11, 2015

1. On November 9, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a demarche to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) over a comment made at a press conference on October 26 by Ms. Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography during her visit to Japan in late October, in which she stated that “13% of schoolgirls have experienced ‘Enjo Kosai’ (compensated dating).” MOFA strongly requested to the OHCHR that the Special Rapporteur retract the comment along with making a demarche that the report the Special Rapporteur is scheduled to submit to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March 2016 should be based on objective data. The OHCHR replied that it would convey the Japanese side’s demarche to the Special Rapporteur herself, and would ask her to respond.

2. Subsequently, on November 11 (November 10 local time), the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva received a letter from the Special Rapporteur through the OHCHR. In this letter, the Special Rapporteur explained that while she encourages the Government of Japan to pursue necessary work in order to evaluate the extent of the phenomena of ‘Enjo Kosai’ and ‘JK (‘joshi kōsei’ (high-school girl)) business,’ as to the estimate of 13%, upon further and in-depth consideration of the matter, since no official or recent data has been made available to corroborate this insufficiently substantiated figure, she had come to the conclusion that the reference to this estimate at the press conference was misleading and she thus does not intend to use it any further nor will she refer to it in her report to the UNHRC.

3. MOFA considers this explanation relating to the 13% figure as practically a retraction of the reference, and continues to strongly urge the Special Rapporteur to draft a report that is based on objective data.

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