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Japan's police raided a voyeurism ring that secretly filmed at least 10,000 women in outdoor hot springs across Japan for over 30 years, The Asahi Shimbun reported.
Earlier in February 2023, 16 men were arrested for their involvement in voyeurism-related acts by the Shizuoka prefectural police.
They were identified by Karin Saito, a 50-year-old man who was arrested in December 2021 for violating the nuisance prevention ordinance.
Saito claimed to have “met at least 100 people through voyeurism".
Would host a screening of voyeuristic videos filmed
According to The Independent, Saito filmed and shared explicit images and videos of women bathing in hot springs with the 16 men who were arrested.
Among the arrested were local government officials, company executives, and doctors.
They were charged on suspicion of violating laws against child prostitution and child pornography.
According to the police, Saito started committing voyeurism in at least 100 locations since he was 20 years old.
The arrested men learnt voyeurism techniques from Saito, who was described as "a charismatic voyeur" in the network.
The men would target women bathing in open-air hot springs and secretly take photos and videos of them with a telephoto lens while hiding in the mountains a few hundred meters away.
They would film these women in clothing beforehand so they could compare them while dressed and naked.
The men would then create videos and edited them to add explicit subtitles.
Police also said these men would secretly drug female acquaintances with sleeping pills.
They would then film themselves committing lewd acts with the unconscious women.
The men would then hold screening parties to share the obscene videos among themselves.
Concerned this will negatively impact hot spring industry
The news of the arrests shocked Japan's hot springs community, which attracts millions of domestic and international tourists annually.
Many feared that the news will negatively impact the hot spring industry, which is slowly recovering after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, police are continuing the investigation and hoping to arrest more men involved in the voyeurism ring.
Top image via Unsplash
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