A sex business operator based in the Kansai region filed a lawsuit seeking access to coronavirus relief grants for business hit by the pandemic according to the relief schemes set up by the government, which excluded sex-related business from their scope.

The business operator asked for 4.5 million Yen deriving from unpaid relief grants and compensation money, arguing that preventing sex-related business from accessing relief schemes was unconstitutional since it violated the principle of equality, also pursuant to Article 14 of the Constitution.

On 30 June 2022, the District Court rejected the plaintiff’s claims, stating that sex-related businesses were “inherently unwholesome”, and upheld the legitimacy of their exclusion from relief schemes.

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