Chinese women employed by a high-end hostess club in Kyoto, Japan have been accused of working for Chinese intelligence, the Sankei Shimbun reports.
A probe into fake marriages by police in June led to evidence of possible industrial espionage by a club in the Gion district of Kyoto which employs Chinese women.
According to the Tokyo Reporter, a separate report in Shukan Jitsuwa alleges that "honey traps" are often used by Chinese intelligence to target Japanese engineers.
The manager of the club – which was not named by police – is reportedly a Chinese national with relatives in the upper ranks of the Chinese Communist Party. The manager denied that customers discussed sensitive matters in front of club employees, but she admitted that some of the girls may have been hired by the men for extracurricular activities.
One hostess, who spoke anonymously to Shukan Jitsuwa, said she had heard that "spy-like work" took place at the club, though she denied being involved in it herself.
"Engineers encountering Chinese girls at sex parties, especially those at ‘happening bars,’ are coerced into leaking information," the paper alleged (translation by Tokyo Reporter). "You’ll also have cases where engineers are in debt to loan sharks. They’ll then be threatened into providing information."
The Kyoto club was shut down in June after a 32 year old hostess was arrested for engaging in a fake marriage to a 52 year old Japan Self-Defense Force member, who was also arrested. The SDF member was reportedly a regular at the club.