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Occupying PowerSex Workers and Servicemen in Postwar Japan$
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Sarah Kovner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776912

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776912.001.0001

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Legislating Women

Legislating Women

The Push for a Prostitution Prevention Law

(p.99) Four Legislating Women
Occupying Power
Stanford University Press

This chapter addresses the female activists and legislators who worked locally and nationally to pass laws against prostitution. The Prostitution Prevention Law aimed to prevent a climate of prostitution. The fight to pass a national law against prostitution shows both the potential and the disappointing reality of female politicians' power in the early postwar period. The road to the legal abolition of prostitution had begun in the late nineteenth century. Japan did little to stop domestic trafficking, instead concentrated on the international trade, especially of European women. The promise of rehabilitation would prove crucial in solidifying a broad coalition of women and Christian Diet members behind a national anti-prostitution law. It is noted that Japan's failure to outlaw prostitution was an international embarrassment. Sex work had become objectionable only when the Allies occupying their country had deregulated it.

Keywords:   Prostitution Prevention Law, female politicians, female activists, Japan, domestic trafficking, Christian Diet, sex work

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