PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA —
Seven Cambodian women were rescued from a sex trafficking in Japan, the first case of sexual trafficking to the East Asian country the foreign ministry says it has encountered.
According to a press release issued on Tuesday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the seven women arrived in Japan in November 2016 after coordination between a broker and a Japanese restaurant owner.
The Japanese restaurateur promised to offer them jobs at his restaurant, the press release added, but they were forced to offer sex services at the restaurant instead.
After the victims wrote a complaint on the Cambodian Embassy in Japan’s Facebook page, the embassy intervened.
Chum Sounry, a spokesman for the ministry, told VOA Khmer on Thursday that it was the first recorded case of Cambodian women being trafficked to Japan.
“In China it’s not sex trafficking issue. In China, brokers cheated them to marry Chinese guys. So it’s not sexual business,” he claimed.
One of the women has already returned to Cambodia suffering ill-health, he added.
Official data for 2016 show that 64 Cambodian women were rescued from human trafficking to China. More than 700 Cambodians were also rescued from other countries.
Am Sam Ath, monitoring manager at local rights group Licadho, called for a government review to stop further incidents of transnational sex trafficking from Cambodia.