This chapter discusses sex and love hotels in Japan, exploring the extent to which law and social change account for the popularity and usage patterns of these establishments. It also explores the role of Japanese love hotel regulation. Although law did not create love hotels, it influences significantly their numbers, location, and form, because love hotel regulation is so integrally linked with social and historical notions of sex, sexuality, privacy, and the role of the state in a previously unexamined context. The 1985 revision of the Entertainment Law led to a reduction in numbers of “real” love hotels but ushered in an era of prosperity for hotels that did not fit the definition of love hotel in the statute but nevertheless provided a similar service. The net effect of the legislation and the social changes that fostered the regulatory change was a healthier overall market for love hotels. Whether that is a plus or a minus is hard to say, even for initial supporters of the law, but the evidence suggests that one important cause of the trend was the law.
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