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In corporate Japan, little movement on harassment policies: survey

31 Comments
By Thomas Wilson

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But data points to the depth of the problem. More than 42 percent of women have experienced or witnessed harassment at work, according to a survey last year by Rengo, Japan's biggest trade union confederat.

Even if there's a system in place, they don't make complaints," Sato said. "Many claims simply don't surface."

so the true figure is well above 42%

Disgraceful.

My daughter was locked inside a Taxi until she gave the driver her phone number. Made a complaint and was told Shogani. Apathy and a total lack of maturity are huge factors in this.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Of the 541 large and mid-sized non-financial firms polled, 232 answered questions on sexual harassment policies.

So out of the companies that did answer, I for one would like to know the size and types.

My daughter was locked inside a Taxi until she gave the driver her phone number. Made a complaint and was told Shogani. Apathy and a total lack of maturity are huge factors in this.

Here in Japan? I would have whipped out my cell phone and dialed 110 and told the cops the situation right on the spot! Or have the cab drive me to the nearest police station and file a report!

You should out the company that told her "shoganai" here.

This isn't lack of maturity, this is a crime.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This metoo stuff is wearing a little thin

-10 ( +5 / -15 )

This metoo stuff is wearing a little thin

Let me guess, with a name like your handle here, you are a guy right?

I highly doubt that women who have been victims of sexual harassment and never had the chance to talk about it, or get any "justice" think totally differently.

It's us "guys" that are a big part of the problem if we dont stop harassment when WE see it. It only gets a "little thin" because you want to keep your head in the sand and not stand up with women to fight it.

It's not just a "woman" problem, it's EVERYONE's problem.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

As an aside the taxi driver did ring after our complaint and after we talked to the police for over an hour...are you sure he locked the doors? Well they said it's a company matter. I answered the his call and invited him to visit, sadly he declined to visit. Another predator given a free pass.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The best way to Japanese men understand what is sex harassment: Media to check what are the items companies are introducing for that ( I fell there are some differences on them.) Or it's better to be introduced from the beginning in school education the context. Sex harassment is still in the air, no shape, no taste, no smell, only the victim knows. Maybe more academic study will be needing? Well, to be a man I think to treat well a woman is to understand first of all what is the meaning of a gentleman in the way of speaking to attitudes. It could make clear the power harassment where the next person is the same gender, too. No distinction of genders or ages will be ideal.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This metoo stuff is wearing a little thin

I'm sure the sexual harrassment is too.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Perhaps it's the fact that most seishain contracts have exclusive sections dedicated and dictate the consequences of sexual harassment. Or maybe it is also because there are so many virgins and sex-less people/couples in Japan.

I don't think you got the memo JT, the government is encouraging a little more friction! (Of course in a mutually consented arrangement!). This article seems to be going against the grain and a very KY in conservative Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The whole working culture is based on prejudice, intimidatation and threats regardless of being male or female. It should be no surprise there is little change to sexual harassment regulations.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Given that '#' means 'pound', they really should have thought it through before deciding to call their anti-sexual harassment movement '#MeToo'.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Given that '#' means 'pound', they really should have thought it through before deciding to call their anti-sexual harassment movement '#MeToo'.

Come on Belrick - even a non-smartphone-using non-Twitter-using luddite like me knows it's commonly referred to as a hashtag. And any Brit (currency: pound) will tell you don't see those signs in front of prices in shops.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

It's common referral is 'hashtag', which is actually not correct. It is a 'pound' sign, like it or not.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Belrick - https://www.google.co.jp/search?q=pound+sign&rlz=1C1CHZL_enJP712JP713&oq=pound+sign&aqs=chrome.0.69i59j0l5.6775j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's common referral is 'hashtag', which is actually not correct. It is a 'pound' sign, like it or not.

Given the context of TODAY and not the last century, it's a hashtag. Damn near everyone who has a twitter account will know it by hashtag too in the context it's being used, and that's all that really matters!

And if you REALLY want to get technically anal about things, here in Japan NO ONE who is Japanese will call it a pound sign either, it's referred to as the "sharp" symbol HERE. Since JT is HERE in Japan, you figure out what is "correct", as like I said, no Japanese person is going to call it a pound sign.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Has always been a Pound Sign as far back as I can remember. # in computer coding is a different context. Just as % is not percent in computer code. These are just symbols for correctly writing things in zeros and dots.

Personally, I have never ever witnessed sexual harassment in any of my years of working. And have only seen one idiot guy on a train wanking it. Perhaps I am wearing horse blinders. I do think it must be real in mots cases.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I am against Sexual Harrasment, but for some reasons I felt that if not because of "Me Too" movement, then Japan will not do anything about this. And because of this , this looks like just following an american TREND like fashion.  As long as the Kyabakura and Geisha culture will continously accepted and justified here, don't expect that equality and the problems with sexual harrasment will go away as these things validate women as "tools" for men's satisfaction.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Three-quarters of Japanese companies have made no changes to sexual harassment policies over the last year and don't plan to do so.

Strange article. I get the feeling they are trying to imply that 3/4 of Japanese companies have NO sexual harassment policies. The Japanese company I worked at in the mid 1990's already had special lectures regarding sexual harassment.

Why does this article focus on changes made in the past year? Are companies expected to change their policies every year?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yubaru, Haruka - thanks for the interesting comments. Haruka - as a geeky British teenager, I got into programming my BBC Micro, and they were called hashes then, so maybe it's a UK/US thing.

noypikantoku - sexism is a many-headed and ugly beast in Japan that starts at an early age with the morass of garish pink plastic under the sign 'Girls Toys' in Toys'r'Us and as you said, the MeToo campaign is not going to get rid of deeply entrenched attitudes in society. I think that changing the mindset so that sexual harrassment is utterly unacceptable is a top priority so I'm all in favour of this movement.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hashtag? Pound? It’s an octothorp! Get it right if you are gonna bicker over such a trivial thing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

MeToo is an American thing so I am not sure why people would expect every other nation to immediately react to it.
-1 ( +3 / -4 )

MeToo is an American thing so I am not sure why people would expect every other nation to immediately react to it.

Because sexual harrassment of women is a worldwide problem?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

Women will make a stand, don't you worry.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@belrick actually # can be refered to as number sign, pound or hashtag, hashtag being the most recent used when social media satrted. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This metoo stuff is wearing a little thin

It's hardly even started. Unless you would prefer that victims of such abuse remain quite about it and don't upset the apple cart. Surely not.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I continue to be amazed that whoever started the #MeToo movement failed to see that #MeToo can equally be read 'Pound'MeToo. Not very smart...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"Three-quarters of Japanese companies have made no changes to sexual harassment policies over the last year and don't plan to do so..." さすが日本。

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

all I can say it takes a pathetic little man to belittle women when they want to make a stand against sexual harassment . please dont give me the alpha male BS , theres nothing alpha about not treating women with respect and as equals.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I continue to be amazed that whoever started the #MeToo movement failed to see that #MeToo can equally be read 'Pound'MeToo. Not very smart...Now that is really thinking in the gutter.......

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm with you, RawBeer. Counting how many companies did or did not change their policy last year seems the wrong measure. My company has a fine policy. When it was introduced, over 10 years ago, we had excellent training. After watching a video and a lecture, we broke into groups and discussed gray areas - and got really good ideas about how different people perceive things. It created a really open atmosphere where people could discuss what was uncomfortable or inappropriate. It was surprising. (Wish I remembered which company ran the training.

Since then, lots of people have come and gone but there hasn't been a whit of training on this topic in more than a decade. We have information handling training every year. Security training every year. Disaster training every year.

Our policy doesn't need changing I am seeing a need for training. Some inappropriate behavior. No one calling people out when they are crossing lines. At least the worst guy is gone. I think he left on his own - should have been fired. I only saw it once but found out later how awful he was being to another guy he assumed was gay. Bully.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Workplace is a green light - chances are one would get away with it

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Because sexual harrassment of women is a worldwide problem?

Yes but not every culture responds in the same manner and in the same time frame. One size doesn’t fit all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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