Asia

Japan fortune teller 'ordered to pay' client forced into prostitution

Map of Tokyo, Japan

A fortune teller in Japan has been ordered to pay $850,000 (£691,000) in damages to a female client she had forced into prostitution, reports say.

The victim was reportedly made to believe that she was in debt to the clairvoyant and could repay that debt only by becoming a sex worker.

Tokyo's District Court heard the woman was sometimes forced to live on the equivalent of $1 a day.

The fortune teller reportedly pocketed nearly 90m yen ($785,000; £639,000).

The victim started consulting with the clairvoyant in 2008, when she was troubled by issues such as a divorce, and became dependent on her advice, local media reported.

In 2011, she was forced to move into an apartment the fortune teller owned, and ordered to work as a prostitute to pay rent and other costs.

"The fortune teller fuelled the woman's fears by leading her to believe that she owed her a lot of money," judge Sotaro Tomuro said.

The woman handed over almost all of her income, the court heard.

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