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Japanese women confront grim taboo by saying 'me too'

71 Comments
By Alastair Himmer

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Good. If there's one country in the world who's men should get a reality check, it's Japan.

27 ( +37 / -10 )

" . . . as male police officers ordered her to re-enact her rape with a life-size doll."

That's really cruel.

One Japanese female friend of mine told me a story about her Japanese friend in Japan. She told me her friend used the bus to go to and from work. At night, as she lived in a rather rural area outside of a city, she had to walk from the bus stop along one stretch of road which was really dark at night without much lighting. One night she was attacked by a man along this quiet stretch of road. He tried to drag her into the rice field next to the road, but she was able to fight him off of her and managed to escape. She ran to the nearest koban (police box) to report the assault (attempted rape) to the police. The policeman asked her, "So you're alright, then?" To which she replied, "Well, besides these scratches, yeah, physically I'm OK I guess." The policeman then told her, "Well, you're OK so why don't just you go home." And to basically forget about the whole thing was the impression the officer gave her.

According to my friend, this young woman was more surprised by the response of the police than the assault itself.

37 ( +37 / -0 )

 The policeman asked her, "So you're alright, then?" To which she replied, "Well, besides these scratches, yeah, physically I'm OK I guess." The policeman then told her, "Well, you're OK so why don't just you go home." 

That attitude needs to change, radically.

27 ( +30 / -3 )

The 'beautiful japanese culture'.

scratch the surface and its a very ugly scene.

18 ( +27 / -9 )

I often run into various individuals in Japan... of course, and when I tell them that I live here their demeanor changes just a bit to slight disappointment. My friend was just visiting, he spoke no Japanese of course, and ran into many Japanese, when he said he'd be going home after just a 10 day stay, they seemed pleased. I don't think they were happy that he was leaving. Didn't seem to be the case. I almost got the feeling that they were happy he was not here long enough to scratch below the surface.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

We Japanese are the people who thought for long to show personal and violent emotions in public is an ugly thing we should withhold. After the war, we are very much embarrassed seeing Americans hug and kiss in public. In Korea and in China, the situation appears different. I do not know where the difference comes from despite we are influenced the same by Confucianism and Buddhism.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

"... raped by a producer who seduced her with the promise of a record deal."

If she agreed to have sex with him in exchange for benefits, then it's not rape just because she regretted afterwards.

-21 ( +11 / -32 )

scratch the surface and its a very ugly scene.

I think you can say that about every culture. After all, beneath their cultural covers Japanese are humans, too.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why report a rape when the police and seemingly the public make you the instigator. Demeaning you further. 2018 and these attitudes still persist, can't imagin what it was like 70 years ago.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

@Townsend....exactly.....Simple and to the point!

I wonder if whoever down voted your post actually believes Japanese are not human

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Actually, What exactly is the message here?

Just a few months ago, JT was "reporting" that 50% of men in Japan aged 18-35 were virgins!?

Now JT is saying that rapist and molesters run around amok feeling entitled to women's bodies!?!?

You're all over the map!

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

From the country that brought train groping to a new level.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

The 'beautiful japanese culture'.

scratch the surface and its a very ugly scene.

Very profound statement. And also very true.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

The whole problem doesn't just start with men, it starts with the lousy police force. If they have seemingly been getting tough on train gropers, they should be able to get tough on other sex crimes.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

The whole problem doesn't just start with men, it starts with the lousy police force.

One and the same. Look at who runs the country. Unfortunately until Japanese women get off their backsides and become @politically active things will never change. It's on the sisterhood to effect the change they want, just as it happens in every other society. Good report Al.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Actually, What exactly is the message here?

Just a few months ago, JT was "reporting" that 50% of men in Japan aged 18-35 were virgins!?

Now JT is saying that rapist and molesters run around amok feeling entitled to women's bodies!?!?

The article isn't implying that rapists and molesters make up anywhere near a significant portion of the population. It's saying that the ones that exist feel entitled to women's bodies and act on it, because the current society and institutions often let them get away with it.

If you just up your reading comprehension and put in a little more thought, you won't have to look to conspiracy theories for explanations like your previous post.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

The 'beautiful japanese culture'.

scratch the surface and its a very ugly scene.

The #MeToo movement originates from a culture where the scratching has been done already :)

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

watashi mo?
-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Blame all round I think, except to the victims of course.

To men who are perpetrators, to the police for failing to handle rape cases with any kind of compassion or even regard it as the serious crime that it is, and, as simon g says, also to women in general for not standing up for themselves. Women had to fight for any better treatment they get in other countries. Its great that the women in the story have come forward but it is also the duty of other women to fully support them. Becky was thrown off tv for an affair with a married man, was this woman's attacker? If women in general wanted it, it would happen. Some (potentially most) of the people attacking Becky will have been other women. That's not how you change attitudes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"and worse was to follow as male police officers ordered her to re-enact her rape with a life-size doll." WTF

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The message is.... women want justice, they want to speak out but it falls on deaf ears and they are partially blamed and ostracized despite the fact that they are the victim. It is pretty obvious that that is the point... if you don't get it then you may just be part of the problem too. It is a crime and they want people to take them seriously.... because if the police and normal people do not.... fewer will come forward and the crimes will continue. Every allegation needs to be treated as a serious crime....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I’ve been drugged twice and almost raped. Once in Germany and once in Hong Kong. Many of my ex partners were raped. The idea that it is just a temporary incident is total BS. After my experiences, I never leave a drink on the table when I go to the toilet. Even after 20 years.

now is international Women’s Day, I hope japan does something special.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Dadude:

Watch "I just didn't do it." Its about a girl who is groped on a train but she grabs the wrong person. It seems like the police were gonna let him go if he begged, but went to trial (1 year +, without bail) because he professed innocence.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Just a few months ago, JT was "reporting" that 50% of men in Japan aged 18-35 were virgins!?

Now JT is saying that rapist and molesters run around amok feeling entitled to women's bodies!?!?

If I’ve read your post correctly, you seem to see a contradiction here. Please tell us what it is.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It is a good thing Japanese people getting to stand up against bad things either women or men. Japan is changing. Women are no more subservient existences in Japan.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

This story is only gonna back up the reasons women in Japan refuse to report rape and make it even harder for them to come forward.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

we are influenced the same by Confucianism and Buddhism. I doubt both these religions promote the the abuse of women by allowing men to rape them without repercussions. Rape is about power and domination many J males still think that J women should do what there told by men , just because theyre men.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Well clearly the police need better training.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Some years ago in Tokyo, some female friends found out that they were being filmed while they showered by the male owner of the "only women" guest house they were living at. After at least ten different people have found the camera and where the connection led (his room) and police investigation, nothing happened to him. Instead, the J-cops took it against my female friends and threatened to arrest them (for defamation) if they said anything to anyone.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

JimizoToday  10:46 am JST

Just a few months ago, JT was "reporting" that 50% of men in Japan aged 18-35 were virgins!?

Now JT is saying that rapist and molesters run around amok feeling entitled to women's bodies!?!?

If I’ve read your post correctly, you seem to see a contradiction here. Please tell us what it is.

stocktrader clearly believes the only way to stop being a male virgin is to rape a woman. It must be sad, having so little regard for men that he believes no woman could possibly want to have sex with them if she had the ability to choose otherwise.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@Jimizo

The contradiction is simple. Males have lost interest in females in Japanese society, for many reasons and influences. This METOO garbage is strictly meant for further division of males and females. Just look at the sponsors. This branch of 3rd wave feminism has no other goal. What could possible result in the betterment of society from this? There is no action being taken. The only thing I see resulting from this MeToo thing is instilling an ideology that men are bad, women are victims of men ONLY. When in reality, average men in society are deeply in trouble, where as men in positions of status and wealth are abusing every level of their power, and passing the blame on to the majority. Just look at the birthrate as a tiny example.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

I meant to say:

they were being filmed while they showered, by the male owner of the "only women" guest house

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Reading through the comments here and I think one common theme kinda sticks out, this problem seeps down to the cultural level. Every country has their own set of issues, the lot of them usually stemming from their culture (you can look this up). And trying to change bad cultural practices prejudices will take generations to erase. Just look at the pecking order to the country today: Oyajis are on top of the food chain, next come the younger males and then the females with the same according by age. And then come us foreigners. Its depressing to say the least that one of the most looked up upon country has one of the worst social censorship on matters like this. Sure, Japanese don't like to be put in an uncomfortable spot, but this must discussed one way or another.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can only imagine what disgusting things happen in the music industry here, especially with all of those idol groups. The only thing I can remember happening was when some Johnnys members said that they were raped, but any news source that dare reported on it was blacklisted and sued for defamation.

There needs to be some sort of website or hotline where people can report on these things anonymously. If these people could get the platform to speak without fear of retribution, I'd imagine the entire entertainment industry here would be shaken up.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Madden: that'd be a great idea but who would go out and do the arrests? We've seen time and time again that those with the proper connections or just bows and apologizes well enough could get off the hook or atleast get a lighter sentence.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The contradiction is simple. Males have lost interest in females in Japanese society, for many reasons and influences

Some males have. Not all of them. That still leaves plenty of men around to abuse women. Also, I’d wager many of the gropers are virgins. I don’t get your contradiction. It doesn’t add up.

My problem with the Metoo movement is that it does have a sense of the online mob becoming an online judge and jury.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Personally I don't think Japan's ready (as a nation/culture) for the #metoo movement as of yet (sadly), that's why they haven't embraced it.

Imo they are still at the NO stage i.e. J women need to be empowered to say NO to men (for sex, at work, at home etc) rather than learn how to cope with the effects & aftermath (of rape, sexual abuse in the workplace etc).

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Michael JacksonToday 07:40 am JST

"... raped by a producer who seduced her with the promise of a record deal."

If she agreed to have sex with him in exchange for benefits, then it's not rape just because she regretted afterwards.

Exactly Regret sex isn't rape.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Epidemic lack of compassion and empathy. No wonder victims can not get the help and support they need.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Police making her reenact the rape with a life size doll is absolutely disgraceful and cruel. For such an advanced society this is really dumb policy....

6 ( +8 / -2 )

What happened to her is digusting and the police did all to make it as disgusting as possible.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You just need to be friends with the PM and whatever you do you'll get a free get out of jail card. The producer was clearly guilty but all charges were dropped and the tapes magically disappeared.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

CK of Australia/FukuchiyamaToday  03:18 pm JST

Police making her reenact the rape with a life size doll is absolutely disgraceful and cruel. For such an advanced society this is really dumb policy....

And yet, it is entirely consistent with other stories I have heard of Japanese police investigating sexual assault charges.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

in a way Japanese women are approaching this problem in a typical Japanese passive aggressive way, not taking it head on, but simply refusing to work, marry and have children; a strike if you will...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@ goldorak

Although your view is 'personal' I wonder where you base your knowledge on about the 'NO stage' you mentioned?

It may be true that the position of the J woman in society is at a lower level compared to most other developed and even some development nations but 'personally' I know only J women who decided not to make old rules and institutions influence their lives on a daily basis and went abroad working for foreign MNC's, NGO's or started a business on for example Bali. The only J women I encountered who never said no are the room maids in the hotels I'm staying. { talking about fresh towels]

Yesterday I saw a documentary about modern slaves from Poland working in greenhouses somewhere in a developed part of the EU where they are face employers who demand sex for a continuing work contract. They struggle but think about their families depending on their income. Trouble everywhere.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

have to face **

0 ( +0 / -0 )

she agreed to have sex to further her career. If she did happen to make it in the entertainment industry, would she be complaining now?

She had consensual sex with someone whom she thought she could get something out of to benefit herself.

She tried to take an easy way to the top, it failed, now she's playing the victim. Sorry, no sympathy from me

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

GarthgoyleToday 11:50 am JST

Some years ago in Tokyo, some female friends found out that they were being filmed while they showered by the male owner of the "only women" guest house they were living at. After at least ten different people have found the camera and where the connection led (his room) and police investigation, nothing happened to him. Instead, the J-cops took it against my female friends and threatened to arrest them (for defamation) if they said anything to anyone.

I won't speculate as to what the J-cops were thinking there. From a legal perspective, however, they are actually correct that if they said anything to anyone, they are liable to get into trouble with the criminal law.

Ultimately, the owner conducted no crime - whatever we may think of his actions, merely filming an area of his own premises do not match up with any of the Tabestands listed in the Special Part of the Criminal Law. According to the legality principle, he conducted no crime. He might have conducted a civil wrong, but that's as far as it goes.

If the women say anything about the matter to anyone, then they actually fulfill the Tabestand for Article 230. In Article 230-2, it also states that defamation can be "unpunished", but only if 1) it relates to matters of the public interest, 2) it is done solely for the benefit of the public and 3) it is the truth, but nevertheless they are on the legal back-foot and can indeed be arrested if the male owner files a criminal complaint.

It is one of those times when the layman's perception and the law's perception of the relative badness of the acts are very different. So, whatever motivation the police had, they were actually correct to point this out.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

She tried to take an easy way to the top, it failed, now she's playing the victim. Sorry, no sympathy from me

Of course, not.

It's quite telling how certain posts from certain suspects here, as regards women are consistently derogatory and sometimes quite bloodthirsty.

I'm beginning to understand why some gaijin (and I stress some) are drawn to Japan. It's not because they like women. Quite the opposite. It's because they see them as objects, to be scorned and sneered at. To judge and denigrate.

Luckily for women (not just in Japan) the JT posting demographic is not representative of the wider community.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

No-one seems to have questioned why there is a life-size doll in the police station.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@netgrump, fair enough.

Was only my pov based on my own experience. Am not saying all J women are 'weak' or do not know how to say NO but a substantial number come across as less assertive/self-confident than the continental euros and aussie women i have dated/worked with/talked to/befriended etc my whole life. That's why i think priority should be to help J women understand/believe it's ok to say NO to men at work, at home, at the pub etc (re unwanted sex, too much work or anything really).

I reckon that an overly insistent boss, colleague, stranger on the train, bloke at the pub etc is more likely to get a NO (make it NO, F*off where am from) from a western euro/aussie woman who's not interested in him than from a J woman (also not interested). Again, it's only my 2 cents, defo not a black/white thing and i get that we have all had different experiences.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

She has no creditablity.  Yamaguchi's account was in detail and natural.  No evidence of rape. That's why police did not arrest him.   She became famous because of this and is now making debut in the world stage.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Bollocks! U Too asked for it, and gave it... different type of #metoo.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

And that goes for the women of the past decades, todays women have mostly a different mindset... which makes the historic accusations from the #metoo movement a bit hard to swallow.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

1,678 people tried for sex crimes in ALL of Japan, in ALL of last year?

Holy hell- there were probably that many sex crimes in Tokyo over the weekend...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The contradiction is simple. Males have lost interest in females in Japanese society, for many reasons and influences.

I would take it from your argument is that Japanese men are no longer capable of rape, or sexual intercourse at all. In that case, Japan will die out within a generation. You may as well abolish the crime of rape.

On the other hand in may be the case that there is a significant number of men in Japan who think that rape is acceptable and that there is also a society that discourages women from speaking out about sex crimes, as well as police that do not investigate the crimes properly. You might even think that the vast amount of rape pornography that the country produces is indicative of attitudes to rape.

The Japanese criminal system is built around the confession of the accused. If you do not confess to the rape, I suspect that there is very little chance of getting a conviction.

In the UK, only a tiny number of rape claims lead to a conviction. Less than 10%. And that would be cases where the woman actually comes forward. How many in Japan ever come forward in the first place? A tiny number.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

1,678 people tried for sex crimes in ALL of Japan, in ALL of last year?

Only 5000 were tried for rape in the UK last year, in a county with half the population. Do that is still nearly 10 times the rate of Japan.

You could argue that Japanese are less likely to rape - this is a low crime country, but it strikes me that this is unlikely given the unhealthy interest in rape porn and the number of people who have been molested on the train, as well as the general subjugation of women here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@CaptainDingleheimer

1,678 people tried for sex crimes in ALL of Japan, in ALL of last year?

In Japan the percentage of rape victims actually reporting the crime is very low, in the single digits.

This is the truth behind Japan's low sex crime statistics; it is not that the occurance of sex crime is low, but the reporting of sex crimes by victims is low due to victim shaming.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ goldorak

My observations are based on my own experiences with independent J women with a lot of self-esteem etc and I recognise too that my Germanic female compatriots seem more assertive that their Japanese sisters.

Other posters brought up the problem of the legislation in Japan and I think that a better legislation in most Western countries makes the difference. Futhermore a system that is more approachable with specialised female cops for sexual abuse cases, gay cops for gay cases and so on.

In Italy where most women always seemed assertive with their 'big mouths', it was not that long ago pretty common [especially below Rome] that clear rape cases were swept under the carpet by the justice system. Things have changed for the better since the era with Silvio Berlusconi who always stated that a real Italian is a macho, no homosexual but a connaisseur of women.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

taking ones career as a hostage and forcing sexual favor is still a rape no matter how you look at it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

she should have told the cop, "Ill describe too you how the man raped me and you can act it out of the doll, Ill tell you if your not being forceful enough or too much. Please have the other officers present so they witness your acting and get the picture of how I was raped."

3 ( +3 / -0 )

women need to be empowered to say NO to men

Men need to know rape is wrong. Because, clearly Not All Men know this, or if they do, they don't care.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Absolutely disgusted after reading this.

All I can now think of is that revenge scene in 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' (the original version - never bothered to see the Hollywood remake).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

seriously there are some brainwashed submissive females in this country, females that will side with males because they think a fault with their cultural thinking is more important to defend than actual women who were raped. pathetic really.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The non-arrest of Noriyuki Yamaguchi shows how far Abe will go to protect his friends. This is a bigger scandal than Moritomo, yet the media are all but silent. I expect Abe is also protecting Sagawa from arrest (as long as he keeps his mouth shut). So much for Japanese "justice".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To all those people who are saying that the musician who was 'seduced' into having sex to further her career wasn't raped, she was 17 and he was an adult who had power over her. Don't know what world you live in, but in mine that's statutory rape.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

she was 17 and he was an adult who had power over her. Don't know what world you live in, but in mine that's statutory rape.

Well, I don't know what country you live in but in mine (Australia) the age of consent is 16 and a record producer/aspiring singer relationship would not be looked at in the same way as if it was a supervisory relationship between, say, a teacher and a 17 year old student, which would be illegal. So no statutory or other rape in this case, just a regrettable decision by a person above the age of consent to give in to an unprincipled demand by a man with no conscience.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm Australian and was raped at 19 by a member of the most powerful military in the world whilst living in Japan. Obviously, he was untouchable - diplomatically immune. There is nothing to describe the inadequacy of the legal system, the countless ways police re-traumatise victims during interrogation, the blame and judgement assigned immediately. There is no concept of maintained enthusiastic consent. There is no concept of retraction of consent - the idea that at any point during a sexual act, if either partner changes their mind and wants to quit, THAT'S IT. GAME OVER. NO MEANS NO. The culture for Japanese women is extremely unfortunate as they are socially vilified for demanding so much as bodily autonomy, a right to be heard. but the situation too for gaijin in Japan is one of blatant disregard. not just total cynicism. "you're foreign, he's foreign, you're not our problem". Ah, I'll just take my contusions home and lick my wounds. Thank you officer.

Okay, so what about the group of Nihonjin guys who spiked my drink? I went out on a Friday night and woke up on a Sunday in a hotel, in another district, with my clothes on backwards? "you were drinking. you're a slut, basically. control yourself."

Hai, domo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is something that truly baffles me. On the one hand, you have movies like "soredemo boku ha yatte inai" that depict a grim image for men in Japan who are falsely accused of molestation, and on the other hand you have the establishment turning a blind eye to the same things. It doesn't add up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah, well. I ain't holding my breath.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

(woops)

... for Japan to change anytime soon. It won't.

On the bright side, here a story that should give us hope: back in the day a salarydude tried to chikan my then girlfriend now wife (Japanese) on the JR loop line platform in Osaka, I think it was kyobashi. Datime. Anyways, I went to go get a Royal Milk tea from a vending machine and I hear this commotion. I look over and see my then girlfriend now wife, a college kid at the time, grabbed this schlep and yelling at him (full kansai mode). He was trying to run off, kind of, with her half grabbing half clinging to him, raising hell and letting him have it. The station master shows up and tries to work things out, you know, there must have been some kind of misunderstanding, bla bla bla.

She got the cops to come and they made a report. Half-heartedly, but they did it. I kept out of it, not wanting to influence the course of events (Heisenberg, and all that)

I don't know if ever happened to the chikan. But I do know this:

Japanese men can only chikan, bully and ultimately rape Japanese women only as long as Japanese women allow themselves to be chikaned, bullied and ultimately raped. Power is never granted; it must be seized.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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