A former worker at a host club in Tokyo's Kabukicho nightlife district has been arrested on suspicion of coercing a female customer into prostitution so she could pay off her bills, police said Monday.

Takuya Akiba, 27, allegedly forced the woman, who is in her 20s, to work at various brothels in Tokyo as well as Fukushima, Ehime, Kumamoto, Oita and Okinawa prefectures between October 2021 and March 2022, police said.

The suspect demanded around 10 million yen ($77,500) in unpaid dining expenses from the woman, according to the police.

"I wanted to be the No. 1 (host) at my host club, so I forced her into prostitution," the suspect was quoted as telling investigators after his arrest over the weekend.

The woman is believed to have given Akiba money she earned as a prostitute.

Two other individuals, including Naoto Udagawa, 27, have been arrested on suspicion of introducing the woman to brothels at Akiba's request. Ten more people, including brothel managers, have been arrested for allegedly providing places for the woman to engage in prostitution.