Oh Japan, you and your blurry lines that usually protect men when it comes to sex culture. But perhaps this time you might have gone a little too far as you’ve managed to shock your country’s own citizens with this ruling. A court in Japan has concluded that a seven-year sexual relationship between a company president and the owner of a Tokyo hostess club did not constitute an extramarital affair, which means the wife cannot ask for compensation from the hostess for sleeping with her husband.
Apparently, the courts have classified the relationship as a purely commercial arrangement that had not harmed their marriage and thus have dismissed the wife’s ¥4m (US$32,200) claim for emotional distress. Um, ok… This ruling will of course have profound consequences for future lawsuits aimed at adulterous men and their mistresses. It almost sounds like the court is encouraging adultery as long as the hostesses (or anyone sleeping with the adulterer) is motivated by financial gain.
“The defendant had sexual relations with her patron only for business, like in cases of prostitution,” the Asahi Shimbun quoted the judge, Masamitsu Shiseki as saying in his ruling. “Even if the wife is disgusted by the act, it does not constitute a legal offense.”
But isn’t sleeping with someone who is not your wife – regardless if you pay them or not – still cheating?
Since the wife has decided not to appeal the decision, lawmakers in Japan worry that this might set the precedent for future cases. Her lawyer, Katsuyuki Aoshima said, “Citizens should discuss whether compensation should be made by a hostess having a sexual relationship with a married man,” the Japan Times quoted him as saying. “A judgment like this case shouldn’t be set as a new standard without clear and logical reasoning.”
Others have been questioning whether or not a hostess sleeping with the same man for seven years is still doing it for ‘business purposes’. When asked, a 32-year-old hostess from the Ginza district said, “I don’t think the hostess would maintain the relationship for seven years without romantic feelings for the customer.”
But she added that to have been sued by a client’s wife is a disgrace, “I think she can no longer make a living in the Ginza, and in that sense, she lost more than what she would have had to pay in the trial,” the hostess said. Well, I sure hope that this will not be the ruling that all adulterous people get to hide behind in Japan.