Seoul (The Korea Herald/ANN) - ¿I¿ve lost so much blood, I feel dizzy. It¿s debt. They won¿t listen."
A Korean female victim sent an urgent text message for help to an anti-trafficking group. The group revealed sex trafficking stories of the victim and others at a press conference in Tokyo Wednesday.
The unnamed victim was malnourished and suffering from abdominal inflammation when she sent the distressed message to Polaris Project Japan¿s hotline.
The woman, who is in her 20s, had been forced into prostitution after she had arrived in Japan with false hopes of making money as a bar hostess to pay off her debt.
She had gotten the idea from her female employer at a Seoul bar, who had recommended that she move to Japan to quickly make money.
But her nightmares began when she met the broker in Tokyo. She was taken to an apartment in the Ueno district, where she was under constant monitoring with surveillance cameras in her room and corridor. The broker took away her passport. All of the money she made working as a prostitute went to the pimp.
The victim recalled that she had been too afraid to call the police, as she was a foreigner unprotected by the law. After she came across the hotline for women, she took action.
About 30 percent of S.O.S calls made to the hotline since 2005 were by Koreans, making them the most targeted foreign victims, according to the PPJ.
Filipino and Thai women came in second and third, taking up 11 percent and 7 percent of the calls, respectively. Thirty-six percent of the calls were from Japanese women.
The group disclosed other detailed stories of sex trafficking cases in Japan, including that of a Korean student who started out working in the kitchen of a hostess bar and ended up being forced into prostitution due to debt.
According to the annual Trafficking in Persons Report published Tuesday by the U.S. State Department, Japan was categorized as a Tier 2 country whose government ¿does not fully comply with minimum standards."