Taiwanese women must be extremely cautious with ads in newspapers touting job opportunities in Japan, many of which are traps set by human traffickers, diplomats from Taiwan have warned.
According to officials of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Japan, over the past three years, police in Taiwan and Japan have rescued a total of 100 women, 99 from Taiwan and one from Macau who fell victim to human smugglers and were forced into prostitution across Japan.
The youngest from Taiwan was 19, while the oldest was 53, with many of the women in their thirties, the officials said.
Police investigations in the two countries showed that many of the Taiwanese women were lured to Japan by false job ads in Taiwanese newspapers.
The police have found that more and more gangsters and document-forgery rings are increasingly involved in luring Taiwanese women to work in the sex trade in Japan.
Tipped off by the representative office in Japan, local police raided a human-smuggling group in Kaohsiung in January, official said, adding that another trafficking group was busted in Taichung in July.
A group of human traffickers from Taiwan and Japan were arrested by Japanese police in October in Chiba Prefecture, the official said.
The three smuggling groups were all connected to gangsters or document counterfeiting organizations, the officials said.
Most of the Taiwanese women tricked into going to Japan were usually forced to work as prostitutes, and their passports were taken away upon their arrival in Japan by the smugglers, who keep tight control of the women, the officials said.