Osaka Police Make Internet Cafes Do Away with Closed Private Rooms

Osaka Internet Cafe StallThe wooden door to this private room in an Internet cafe was replaced with a transparent one. Yodagawa-ku, Osaka. Photo by Naoya Masuda.

Osaka Police Make Internet Cafes Do Away with Closed Private Rooms
Yomiuri Shimbun: 大阪のネットカフェ、全店で個室の密室状態解消
January 6, 2012

According to an Osaka Police Department investigation, there are no longer any closed private rooms in the prefecture’s internet cafes.

The police strictly enforced the Entertainment Establishments Control Law in order to abolish such rooms, which they believe induce crime. They spearheaded the first campaign in the country to remove or make transparent the doors to private rooms in such establishments; the effort also succeeded in exposing illegal businesses. However, regulatory standards are different from prefecture to prefecture, and cafe owners are complaining that they’ve lost customers and business because of the policy.

“I feel uncomfortable here because I’m always thinking that someone might be watching me from behind. I can’t watch the movies I want to watch anymore, so I come here less than half as much as I used to,” complained a 20-something male customer at an Internet cafe in Yodogawa-ku (Osaka City). This store replaced the wooden doors to its private rooms with acrylic, transparent ones last June on orders from the Osaka Police Department. Now the contents of each computer screen can be clearly seen from the hallway. This cafe is part of a franchise of about 30 stores, and the parent company made the same changes at each establishment. As a result of these changes, revenue for most cafes was 20-25% lower during the August to October period than it was during the same quarter the year before.



透明な扉に付け替えられ、個室内の様子が見えるようになったネットカフェ(大阪市淀川区で)=枡田直也撮影 大阪府内のインターネットカフェ全店で個室の密室状態が解消されたことが、府警の調査でわかった。



(2012年1月6日23時09分 読売新聞)

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