The opening of Japan and the subsequent flood of Western influences into Japan brought about a series of changes in the Meiji period.
Japanese novelists, notably Higuchi Ichiyō, started to draw attention to the confinement and squalid existence of the lower-class prostitutes in the red-light districts.
The Anti-Prostitution Law criminalized the act of committing sexual intercourse in exchange for actual or promised compensation.
This eliminated the "red line" and "blue line" systems and allowed a number of paid sexual services to continue under "sexual entertainment" regulations, e.g., "soaplands" and "fashion health" parlors.
This practice later continued among visitors from "the Western regions", mainly European traders who often came with their South Asian lascar crew (in addition to African crew members, in some cases).