Number of local entertainers in Japan down

Deployment of Filipino entertainers to Japan is on a rapid decline ever since the Japanese government imposed stricter immigration policy for overseas performing artists (OPAs) more than three years ago.

Data supplied by the Japanese Embassy in Manila showed that the number of Filipinos who entered Japan under the entertainers’ visa category went down from 11,065 in 2007 to 9,199 in 2008 and only 7,465 in 2009.

“It’s been decreasing,” the Japanese Embassy said in a press briefing held in Pasay City last Tuesday.

Japan restricted the deployment of OPAs after reports of rampant human trafficking and stories of Filipino entertainers ending up as prostitutes in Japanese nightclubs surfaced.

The Japanese government’s efforts to curb human trafficking came after the United States State Department downgraded its assessment of Japan’s anti-trafficking effort. Japan subsequently expedited measures to combat it.