Japan checking into reports of rowdy Japanese in China
( 2003-09-30 16:33) (Agencies)
Japan's foreign minister said Tuesday officials were checking into complaints
that Japanese tourists hired hundreds of prostitutes for an orgy in China on a
sensitive World War II anniversary.
Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi said Tokyo had yet to determine whether the
reports that hundreds of Japanese men, believed to be on a company tour, hired
as many as 500 prostitutes in the southern city of Zhuhai, near Macau.
A general view
of the five-star International Conference Hotel in Zhuhai which was closed
by police after a sex scandal involving about 400 Japanese tourists and
500 local prostitutes on September 18, 2003. China has detained suspects
involving in the scandal. [Reuters]
``China is looking into it and the Japanese government is also collecting
information,'' she said. ``We don't know at this point what exactly happened.''
Chinese news reports said more than 400 Japanese male tourists had sex with
Chinese prostitutes at the Zhuhai International Conference Center Hotel from
Sept. 16-18, which is the anniversary of an attack by Japanese forces in 1931
that China regards as the start of its World War II occupation.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan has called
the case ``extremely odious'' and asked the Japanese government to ``strengthen
education of its citizens in this regard.''
The fracas has been carried prominently by Japan's media, which have reported
the tourists were in China as part of a trip arranged by a construction company
based in the western Japan city of Osaka.
The name of the company, which has reportedly denied any involvement in
procuring prostitutes, has been withheld by the media, however.
``If this is a fact, legally speaking at least, the Japanese should not
commit any act that would be against the law in China,'' Kawaguchi said. ``More
importantly, I regret the kind of act that would damage women's dignity would be
committed in a foreign country.''