Wife's affair claim thrown out after Japanese court approves cheating 'for business purposes'

A husband's seven-year affair with a club hostess was not technically an affair as she was financially motivated, according to a Tokyo court

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A Japanese court has rejected an adultery case after deciding that the husband’s affair with a club hostess was purely for business reasons.

The Tokyo District Court ruled that a seven-year sexual relationship between a company president and the owner of a hostess club was not legally an extramarital affair.

If an affair is conducted for business, it is “not something that will damage the tranquillity of a marriage” the Guardian reported the presiding judge as saying.

The hostess was motivated by financial gain, in that sleeping with the businessman ensured he visited the club.

Judge Masamitsu Shiseki compared the hostess to a prostitute who was earning money indirectly as a result of the relationship. The wife was trying to claim ¥4m (£20,860) in damages for emotional distress caused by their agreement, the Guardian reported.

Japanese has a specific term for their agreement, “makura eigyo” which roughly translates as “pillow sales tactic” and, according to the Japan Times, exists because it is reportedly such common knowledge that hostesses sleep with clients.

There have been cases in the past in which a third party who has had an affair with a married person has been ordered to pay damages. This is seen as supporting marriage.

The wife’s lawyer, Katsuyuki Aoshima told the Japan Times that the ruling might influence adultery cases in the future.

“The judge did not need to introduce a new standard of allowing a sexual relationship outside marriage, introducing the word ‘makura eigyo’ out of nowhere,” he told the paper.