Date: Wed, 27 Oct 93 14:19:57 PDT
Subject: Oriental antiques
[When I first visited Japan I was amazed to see vending machines that sold
beer (a practice that would violate laws in the U.S.), but why am I now
amazed to see the following, apparently law-abiding, "lace of capitalism"?
From: vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU!bostic (Keith Bostic)
From: The Economist, page 76, October 18, 1993
Police in Japan are trying to curb an unsavory trade. In early
September, three business men stocked around 90 vending machines in outer
Tokyo with used underwear "guaranteed to have been worn by a Japanese
schoolgirl." So far about $211,000 worth of used panties have been sold.
The businessmen put the machines, which also dispensed obscene magazines
and videotapes, near primary schools and other meeting points for young
girls. Each garment sells for about $29.
After searching the rule books, the police have finally charged
the three entrepreneurs with violating the Antique Dealings Law, which
stipulates that dealers need a license. Used panties as antiques? The
police say that some of the underwear was bought from second hand dealers.
The trio may also be charged with swindling, if it can be shown that the
panties on sale had not really been worn by female students.
© 1993 Peter Langston