Japanese basketball players sent home from Asian Games after paying for 'services of prostitutes'

Four members of the Japanese men’s national basketball team were sent home from the Asian Games this week after allegedly paying women in Indonesia for sex. (Getty Images)

Four players on the Japan men’s national basketball team were sent home from the Asian Games this week after allegedly paying women for sex, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo News.

According to the report, four players left the athletes’ village on Thursday night for dinner. After dinner, the players met a Japanese-speaking local who directed them to other bars nearby. The players were later approached by several local women on the street. The players then payed 1.2 million Indonesian Rupiah, or about $82, each and went to a nearby hotel with the women before returning to the village around 2:30 a.m.

The players used the Japanese-speaking local “as go-betweens in their negotiations.”

The players were stripped of their membership of the national team on Sunday and sent home from the games, leaving the Japan men’s national team with eight players.

“There were actions that violated the national team’s code of conduct … and it betrayed the expectations of Japanese citizens,” Japanese delegation chief Yasuhiro Yamashita told Kyodo news. “As chief of the delegation, it is very regrettable and I deeply apologize from the bottom of my heart.”

The four players — Takuya Hashimoto, Keita Imamura, Yuya Nagayoshi and Takuma Sato — flew back to Japan at their own expense.

Japan has split its first two games in the tournament, falling to Taipei 71-65 on Tuesday and beating Qatar 82-71 on Thursday. The team will take on Hong Kong on Wednesday in its final preliminary game, though it will not be allowed to replace the four players who were sent home.

“Because of our thoughtless behavior, we have caused tremendous trouble,” Nagayoshi told Kyodo News. “We are taking a hard look at what we have done.” 

The Asian games, hosted in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, run through September 2.

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