Sex shops -- Is cutting power & water legal?

There is a cracker of a story about the new Japanese guidebook to sex shops in Taipei to be published in the papers tomorrow (Saturday 12th). But my question is this: Is it legal to shut off the power and water to a business suspected or known to be offering sexual services? I know that this has been done in the past, but recently during Mayor Ma’s half-assed attempt to clamp down on the sex trade, there was talk among Chinese journalists that this practice was in fact illegal.
Is it?

Thanks for your inquiry. I must admit that this is the first inquiry of this nature that we have received in this forum.

If the City/County Government wants to cut off the power, what is the law/regulation that they are quoting which authorizes such action? That is the key question.

Then we would want to look at the legal basis for that. If it is a specifically worded law, that is pretty solid. If it is an administrative regulation, with no legal basis, then that is very weak.

I found a reference in Articles 77 and 91 of the Jian4 Ju2 Fa3, which we might translate as Building and Construction Law.

The first clause of Article 77 says that the owners/operators of the building must maintain the legal operation, as well as the safety of the structure and facilities.

The first clause of Article 91 says that violations of the first clause of Article 77 can be punished by fines of NT$60,000 to NT$300,000, with a specific administrative order to remedy the violations within a set period of time, beyond this time limit, multiple fines may be assessed, water and electricity may be cut off.

A decision of the Dept. of Appeals, Taipei City Government, Aug. 15, 2000, (available in Chinese at
states that Article 77 has been consistently interpreted by the MOI as referring only to the physical structure of the building, and the condition of its facilities, (and not to the activities of the persons therein).

I thought the story was funny. And then there was the follow-up story yesterday. On saturday night Ma sent the cops to check out the shops listed in a book, but - surprise! - they’d all closed early for the day. Does Ma need a Japanese book to find the sex shops? Maybe that’s why he’s had a hard time cracking down on the sex industry. Someone should tell him to head down Linsen Bei Lu and check out the scores of red-lit ‘Karaokes’ and ‘Massage Parlours’ with pictures of naked women outside them. Maybe then he’ll catch someone.


But the locals are really blind to them. They were telling me there are hardly any, so I was just going down the street like there one there, one there, even over there. And I cant even read chinese characters.

I had read that President Ma was allowing various localities to decide for themselves regarding this trade. I don’t understand about a “crackdown” Actually, quite the contrary. Hell, you can’t throw a stick without hitting at least two store fronts. Fun to watch the paddy wagon show up in Banqiao on a Friday evening about midnight accompanied by 20 police scooters and 40 officers in body armor. They run into the red light KTV and the luxury cars show up 1/2 hour later. The occupants, enter and leave. All the officers pack up and leave, empty handed, in another 1/2 hour. Is this the so called “crackdown”. Maybe I missed something in the news but I think Ma told officers to leave both the male and female side of the transaction alone. But, maybe they want to concentrate of reducing the convenient places catering to such activities, leaving it to thrive in more public area like Ximending.
More visibility, more tourism? The Japanese must love it.

Sounds like the same way a cop would “crack down” on a donut shop.