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Japan beefs up measures against workplace harassment


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Under revisions to five laws, aspects of workplace harassment were specifically defined and made impermissible for the first time. But none of the legislation prescribes punitive measures that can be taken against violators.

Put another way, the government hasn't done anything substantively to combat workplace harassment. Japan: The Land of Form over Substance.


17 ( +17 / -0 )

This is far too simplistic an article about a very serious problem, more details need, no MUST be provided other than vague references to new outlines.

Just what has been defined?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Young generation Japanese are standing up to change the situations. They call the companies where various harassment exists "Black Companies" and share information among them via SNS.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hmm, forgot to add in the paragraph where our whole work structure power dynamic would have to change.

But these are good changes as Japan really only changes fast, from the top down. If there aren’t official rules, many things won’t get done.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How can those measures change my situation now as I'm out of work because of combined power and sexual harassment of a so-called "Jleader"? In fairness I won't consider that company as black since I had the chance to work on 2 of their branches and I never saw such! I just consider that as a bad egg in a basket of good ones. But the effect was so great that I'm out of work now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But none of the legislation prescribes punitive measures that can be taken against violators.

This is the problem with the majority of japan's laws in a nutshell.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

So, there are no teeth to this amazing new law whatsoever.

" But none of the legislation prescribes punitive measures that can be taken against violators. "

Which begs the question:

What is our tax money paying for again? For the Japanese Government to just throw around laws that are not enforceable? To pretend to be actually working?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Was anyone expecting any laws with teeth in a country that is company centric rather than people.

Can anyone come up with just one legislation or law that goes to safeguard the interest of the people rather than J-companies.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Fry crying out load Japan, INSTEAD of more empty, hollow, unenforceable BS "legislation, can you start actually..…..oh...…..I don't know, oh yeah ENFORCE current labour laws for a start!

No repercussions...….gee I bet that is going to work like a charm, NOT!! This is such utter lunacy all round, downright depressing.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Measures against harassment at work by law are also important, but classes are necessary to teach these in school education.

That's because they don't get any discussion or guidance about harassment that can occur when they become employees of the company.

I think that the solution is difficult unless measures are taken from the root of the problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

to combat the country's increasingly prevalent reports of bullying and abuse of power.

Increasingly prevalent? What is this suppose to mean? All Japan's society, the entire country has always been based on bullying and abuse of power. This is part of the how the society is organized here. The old are superior to the young, men are superior to women, anyone higher on the hierarchy is superior and can exercise all his wills to anyone lower.

But none of the legislation prescribes punitive measures that can be taken against violators.

You see, see above comment....

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Are you kidding, do something real already. What a joke.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Too little too late! Japan needs to get serious about workplace harassment and institute clear penalties for offenders. It’s hard enough for victims to speak out. Having no strong response to harassment makes it harder.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japan must be in the Guinness book for country with the most legislations without punitive measures. Isn't it a waste of time and tax money to come up with all these legislations if there aren't any penalties to punish violators!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree with the other posters that this is lip service only. Nothing is being done.

Japanese workplaces are increasingly relying on women and foreigners, so any law with teeth would empower them. I am sure that is understood and is one reason why we are not seeing punitive measures being introduced. We can't punish the 50-year-old man for sacking the pregnant 28-year-old woman or screaming at his Cambodian staff who don't want to work for free after their nine-hour shift.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hope so, I see condescending staff, staff ordering females to just get green tea and get sidelined.. It's a man's world here that's for sure. Sadly there can never be a west coast mentality, even US companies here, domestic Japanese turn that company culture into a 1940s mindset culture.

Heck if you Google Panasonic culture, folks at their Osaka main office have to sing corporate songs EVERYDAY and write notes on how to better themselves..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I also see colleagues who don't even give eye contact to foreigners when they speak in business meetings and change the topic when they speak. I got angry at them and they still repeat their mistakes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I hope a large portion of tyrannical role obsessed eraisantachis, that have used bully tactics to try and hide their own incompetence, are doing a lot of nervous soul searching behind their office doors right now. The game, at least ‘officially’, is up. The cynics will immediately write these ‘Orders from Above; Stop Abusing your Staff’ memo from the government as pointless, but believe it or not they do lead to fairly rapid changes in practice and mindset. Just knowing the law will now focus and have the backs of the victims will deflate these until now untouchables real quick.

Retire the worst offenders, read a few books about effective leadership and Reiwa will be good as gold. The move towards hierarchies of competence should be the inspiration that gets people up in the morning and remotivated to get good at what you do. Time to go pro Japan.


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also typically people don't fire anyone here, as you can see with the endless scandals being reported, fake bow and back to work the next morning.

Though in the west too, there's a lot of people who magically become 'managers' or some English teachers I've seen who somehow are working in marketing suddenly.. but previously was teaching kids abc..

Funny world we live in

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I once translated a corporate governance disclosure document for a certain company. The company had to answer a question on what measures it has put in place to prevent maltreatment against whistleblowers. It's statement was, essentially, "We prohibit maltreatment against whistleblowers". Yeah, great. What a relief. But the question was what measures are you actually taking --- HOW do you prohibit maltreatment??

I get a similar feel from this new legislation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Let's start by allowing people to have their own personality, opinions and express themselves since an early age. This excess of discipline and obedience in schools is what creates submissive workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm not even going to read the article, but I GUARANTEE there is no punishment spelled out for infractions, and that in actuality it's probably even up to the company to decide what constitutes an infraction.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But none of the legislation prescribes punitive measures that can be taken against violators.

There it is in a nutshell. It's just more hot air from the ministry of BS.

My Mrs and I want to spend time overseas later this year. However, my Mrs was told she could only take two extra days leave on top of her 3-day summer O'bon break. This is despite the fact she has 20 days paid vacation in her contract. She was specifically told that, if she wants to take more time off she has to quit. They didn't threaten her with being fired because that is illegal. They just told her she has to quit instead. This is the kind of power harassment that is prevalent in all Japanese companies. It is not power harassment. It is bullying and intimidation that is part of the business culture. The workers of Japan are nothing more than expendable slaves and are treated as such by their employers. And then, you have the ministry of BS and no balls spouting this guff just to fill a page in the newspaper. It's an absolute disgrace!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And now she is more empowered than ever to fight back. Just takes a brave few to get the ball rolling.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ricky Kaminski13 - And now she is more empowered than ever to fight back. Just takes a brave few to get the ball rolling.

Yeah, and also start looking for another job, right?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Wow wow wow! Where to begin with this one!

But none of the legislation prescribes punitive measures that can be taken against violators.

As usual. No enforcement

Pregnant women or women who have returned to work after being on maternity leave are now similarly protected

Will their positions be protected too? I mean, of course, "possibly by next April"

The government received feedback from companies saying it is difficult to draw a line between harassment and stern but fair management.

You know it's been way out of hand for a long time when.....

"Though some behavior had been considered excessive but permissible as a form of instruction

Which, of course, will continue to be the case, in order to preserve oyaji tradition

Revisions to the laws, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, also aim to empower working women

Tired of hearing this story. Even the government fiddles with their numbers!


2 ( +2 / -0 )

Dis* isn’t this exactly what the new laws are for?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Harassment do not only come from working for a company. Harassment comes from people that works in the same company that thinks that they are better than others in their imagination. Japanese have to think more realistically, for example, no one is perfect. No one is better than the other. People should know their own limits. In this way, Japanese society will improve. Hurt is be less. Laws takes time and real actions from each individuals in Japan are needed now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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