Girl gangs forcing teens into prostitution

By Sayaka Hitachi, Mainichi Shimbun, Friday 16 July 1999

YOKOHAMA—The choices are simple. You can get the living daylights knocked out of you or be a hooker for us.

Teen-age female gangs who assume street names, are relying on these and other threats to extort money from high school and junior high school girls.

According to Kanagawa Prefectural Police, these gangs are springing up everywhere in and around Tokyo.

Copying their U.S. counterparts, the gangs wear identifying colors, like red and blue and map out territories of control.

In the wake of a spree of violent crimes by youth, one such gang, called Pink Rose, has been creating a stir with its acts of violence.

Recently, four of the gang members from Takatsu-ku, Kawasaki, were arrested or brought into custody for assaulting and extorting teen-age girls.

Police said two of the girls were 15 years old and unemployed, while another 15-year-old was a first-year prefectural high school student.

A 13-year-old junior high school girl was also taken into protective custody for her role in the crimes.

According to investigators, in late April, the girls allegedly threatened a 14-year-old junior high school student they knew by asking her which she preferred—to be beaten up and bring them money, or not get beaten up and still bring them money.

They then demanded that the girl go hook some money for us, forcing her into prostitution.

In fear for her life, the girl apparently called a dating service and had sex with men on two occasions to make money for the Pink Rose gang.

Police said the group extorted a total of 40,000 yen from the girl.

In another incident in early May, the gang allegedly picked a fight with a 16-year-old prefectural female high school student who was eating at a family restaurant.

They led her to a nearby park, and punched and kicked her before stealing several thousand yen from her.

The group apparently demanded the girl choose between being pummelled, duking it out with them or becoming a hooker to make them money.

The Pink Rose gang was active mainly near Mizonokuchi Station on the Tokyu Denen-Toshi Line in Kawasaki.

A gang of boys called SSG, whose group color is blue, have also been accused of causing trouble with teen-agers in Kawasaki. Pink Rose is associated with SSG, police said.