Soaplands are bathhouses that have been popular in Korea and Japan since the 1950’s. They began as simple bathhouses where beautiful women would bathe men. Over the years; they began to take the bathing concept further and started offering sexual services. They would provide clients with sexual gratification from their “foam princesses” who commonly offer full sex. There are some soaplands that offer a variety of sexual services that do not involve penetration to avoid problems with authorities and to cater to the people who aren’t comfortable paying for full sex. These places have become an alternative for upscale businessmen to entertain their clients who do not want to risk being caught paying for sex. Soaplands that offer full sex are still used for corporate bribery to this day, but it is not as popular as it once was because of the crackdown on prostitution by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.
Everyone from large scale companies to small businesses have been known to use soaplands. Even government workers are reported to be frequent visitors. One soap mistress says that she gets over 30 government workers in a month. This seems to be less and less common as the Tokyo Metropolitan Police make major arrests. Yusuku Saegusa, a 47 year old manager at a South Korean electronics company, was recently arrested for purchasing soapland bathhouse services to bribe the head of the development division of Japan Freight Railway, Hideyuki Tominaga (who was also arrested). The bribe was apparently given to easily obtain construction work from the major railway company. Tominaga would over pay for services at a soapland and the leftover money would go to Saegusa. High profile arrests like this have caused the corporate community to be much more cautious when it comes to using these establishments.
There was another major arrest recently that shook the soapland world and made it a more dangerous means of corporate bribery. The CEO of major soapland chain “Sun World Holdings” was arrested along with 39 of his male employees for violating prostitution laws. None of the girls were arrested, but it showed a lot of people that the police constantly had their eye on soaplands that offered full sex. At the time of the arrest; the soapland chain had 635 female employees and made over $125 million in just 2 years. Until recent years; soapland owners and law enforcement had an agreement in which the soapland owners would pay them to keep from being shut down. After these arrests; the behind the scenes relationship between the police and soapland owners began to break down.
These arrests may have helped force the decline of corporate use of full sex bath houses, but the bribe arrests were for the bribes themselves and not necessarily the purchase of sex services. The bribes weren’t even necessarily illegal. Paying for services in an attempt to get more business is not considered a bribe in Japan. The only reason that Tominaga from the Japanese railway company was arrested was because his company was a state sponsored company. This means that it’s technically considered a private company which must follow all the standards of government business practice. It may not have been about the sex, but it certainly affected the popularity of full sex soaplands in the corporate community.
It’s easy to see why soaplands were once a popular method of corporate bribery. It’s cheap considering the amount of joy that these companies could bring to their clients. Besides the arrests; the fear of contracting venereal disease became another major deterrent for using soaplands in business practices in Japan. This may be true for Japanese companies, but American and European executives still keep full sex soaplands popular. They became fascinated with the establishments after a popular set of soapland videos were released depicting a variety of unique sexual services that they offered. Soaplands show no sign of going away any time soon, but it’s much less common to use them for a business meeting, at least when full sex is involved.