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The Hatano Yui EasyCard controversy is still spreading and in a press conference held by the Collective Of Sex Workers And Supporters (COSWAS) on September 17, the association points out that the government and the EasyCard Corporation have been avoiding the fundamental problem of the sex industry. COSWAS also publicly calls on Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je to support the rights of prostitutes and requests the Taipei City government to state their stand regarding the sex industry and policies legalizing sex trade.

Apple Daily reports, COSWAS passed out self-printed EasyCards of licensed prostitutes at the press conference yesterday. Like the Hatano Yui EasyCards, the ones printed by COSWAS have angel and devil versions with a Playboy photo of the vice president of the Licensed Prostitutes’ Self-help Association back in 1999 before the Taipei City government abolished prostitution. The woman, Li-jun, has her middle finger pointed out in and the words, “Licensed prostitutes will never compromise," represent their discontent of the government’s indifferent attitude towards the rights of prostitutes.

COSWAS also gave out the EasyCards to government officials and asked the Ko city government to support the rights of sex workers. Spokesperson of the Taipei City government Lin He-ming says the social opinion regarding this issue is still very different and the government has no plans for related policies.

Liberty Times reports, Secretary of COSWAS Xiao Yi-ting says after the amendment of the Social Order Maintenance Act in 2011, local governments are authorized to set sex trade zones, but there is still no place in Taiwan that has done so. All of the local governments turn away from this surface legitimacy and prohibits prostitution. Xiao also says it’s absurd for local governments to market through porn stars while banning prostitution.

An unlicensed prostitute, Cola (a pseudonym), came forward to say it’s hard to survive under the routine monitor of the police. Hatano Yui is also considered to be a sex worker and if the government issues the EasyCards, then it should legalize prostitution and promote sex education.

CNA reports, COSWAS also says that the EasyCard Corporation has utilized Hatano Yui’s fame but refuses to admit her identity. The association believes the government should stop changing the subject and face the core issue of underground sex trade. COSWAS states it hopes the 1000 EasyCards can open up a public dialogue between the government and Taipei citizens to give prostitution an opportunity to become legal through fair communication.

Translated by Olivia Yang