Japan’s ‘evaporated’ people: Inside an industry that helps people disappear
SCMP, 19 Mar 2023
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In Japan, as some 80,000 people go missing every year, according to data from the National Police Agency. Some are later found, but others vanish completely, becoming what’s described as an “evaporated person” or johatsu-sha. The phenomenon is common enough to have an entire industry built around it of specialists who can help you disappear in the night. In this SCMP Film, we go inside a neighbourhood that’s a powerful draw for those who want to stay hidden and meet a yonige-ya, or night mover, who braves stalkers, gangsters and knife-wielding exes to spirit his customers away to safety.
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