Brothel owners and high-class callgirls will have you believe that their business is all part of doing business in Korea. But as News.com.au recently reported, the South Korean tax office has been cracking down on these types of “sleazy services”, frustrating many local sex industry businesses.
“Last month, the government tax body finally put a number on the excess, reporting through a conservative lawmaker that $1 billion was spent on corporate credit cards on sleazy night-time entertainment in 2013.” (Source)
Make no mistake about it: prostitution is illegal in South Korea. But, as the article reports, executive-level sexual corporate entertainment is “the norm”, a cultural tradition that is tolerated for the most part- and also means many corporate Korean women are left out of important business dealings and deal-making.
While it’s a good thing to see the South Koreans finally begin to crack down on this industry, one wonders what is being done about the recent news reports of Asian women demanding justice for forced prostitution during the Korean war. For more details, see this video on Vietnam comfort women.
According to the Korean Feminist Association, more than a million women in Korea are sex industry workers. It’s supply that meets with a great demand: the government-run Korean Institute of Criminology claims that one out of five men in their 20s purchase sexual services at least four times a month.