Source: South Asian Women's Forum 8/5/2007

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MAKUHARI, Japan (AFP) - The predominantly male crowd, perusing shelf upon shelf of gadgets, fetish DVDs and costumes, would have been even more nervous had they noticed that a few of the booths aimed to increase sexual pleasure for -- not with -- women.

Japan has a major sex toy industry, estimated to be worth some four trillion yen (34 billion dollars) a year, but female customers are a neglected market.

Not so at last weekend's three-day Adult Treasure Expo 2007, where women visitors had their pick of brightly coloured vibrators, accessories and other sex aids.

"Compared with 11 years ago, the situation for girls has improved greatly," says Minori Kitahara, 36, a feminist activist who is trying to change things in her own small way.

She runs LovePieceClub, a sex toy shop for women in Tokyo.

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