Japanese Buddhist priest arrested for child prostitution

Friday, March 10, 2006

A 73-year-old Buddhist priest and temple nursery school director was arrested for soliciting a child prostitute, police reported on Friday.

Itsushi Ehara, chief priest of Komyoji Temple in Aki-ku, Hiroshima, is alleged to have violated the Japanese Anti-Child Prostitution and Pornography Law.

Police state that Ehara admitted to the allegations during questioning, responding "I did it to alleviate my work stress." Police also claim that he confessed to membership in child prostitution clubs, and has paid several high school girls to have sex with him on more than 20 occasions.

Tokyo police allege that Ehara paid 80,000 yen to a 15-year-old girl, a first-year high school student, to have sex with him at a hotel in Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, in August 2004.