Added Gina Alunan of the Kanlungan Center for Migrant Women in Manila,``The whole mechanism of women trafficking has become an industry.It`s run by international syndicates, and Japan is the main recipient.``Sociologists say cruelty in the sex trade is rooted in confused self-identity.``We Japanese have a racist attitude towards our fellow Asians.
So we import them,`` said Tetsuo Yamatani, a filmmaker, author and expert on the Japayuki, a word he coined.
Few of the newcomers realize they are entering a world that sees them as racially inferior, cheap, exploitable toys for fleshing out suppressed sexual fantasies, to be sold or swapped at will.``These girls often think they are entering a glamorous life as entertainers. Their passports and salaries are withheld until the end of the contract, and they just have to do what the employer orders,`` said Cecilia Hoffman of Gabriela, a Manila-based organization that coordinates help for migrant women in trouble.
Maricris was one of those girls, some dressed in frilly dance costumes, who arrive looking lost and scared, clutching their small plastic suitcases and looking around for the agent who is to take them to one of the 100,000 clubs and bars that serve as a veneer for Japan`s prostitution racket.``We are rich now.
No Japanese woman wants to be a prostitute anymore.
We have an inferiority complex towards whites and a superiority complex towards Asians,`` said Mitsuo Matsuda, director of HELP, Tokyo`s only shelter for maltreated Japayuki.