Mika is worried. As a sex worker in Japan, she used to see three or four clients a day – then the coronavirus pandemic hit. Now, with people staying home and avoiding close contact, she’s out of clients and out of money.
With no savings or other sources of income, Mika says she is living off borrowed money. She has tried to find other jobs, but nobody’s hiring in the middle of an economic crisis. At this rate, she might not be able to pay rent or afford basic necessities, let alone pay off the debt she has recently taken on.
“I’m worried if I will have a place to live or if I can find a job to get money to live,” she said, using a pseudonym to protect her privacy. “I worry about (my health) of course, but now I worry more about how to survive.”
Sex workers across Japan have been hit hard by closures and restrictions due to the pandemic. The entire country is under a state of emergency, with many businesses ordered to shutter and people advised not to go o