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Job-seeker harassment coming under increased scrutiny in Japan

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"A lot of people get married to coworkers at our company. If you don't find a boyfriend at work, you will be left on the shelf,"

In one case, a female student complained of being groped on her thigh under the table by a representative of a company to which she was applying, the group said.

In one, a student said he was urged to enter into a sexual relationship in exchange for a job offer.

people just want to get jobs so they can go on with their lives, why do other people have to make things unnecessarily difficult for them? In addition to the socially-repressing norms Japan has, getting a decent job nowadays has been a pain enough and we have to put up with stuff like this.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Don’t like the job interview ?

Get up and leave...

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

Record all interviews and report any inappropriate conversations and behaviour to proper authorities and post online to embarrass companies in question and let other jobseekers know.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Record the interview with a smart phone.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Set up and advertise a hotline and a blacklist.

problem largely solved

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There a very strong, very negative culture of power-over-others in Japan - the whole sempai/kohai dynamic is one of power abuse, domination, submission & slavery. It is one of the things that makes Japan what it is, & is also one of the things that holds Japan back.

Not for a moment am I suggesting that Japan should be like another country, but rather, the use & abuse of power over others, needs to stop.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Ignoring and getting up to leave does not solve or ever will solve these issues and quite possibly future lawsuits that only ends up badly for both sides. It doesn't solve the problem and simply lack of CEO responsibilities and owners i.e. board of directors, who are in the positions to ensure adequate policies are created, implemented and enforced regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Training and changing the current workforce while not easy can be completed successfully provided as mentioned a strong response and enforcement by the company leaders. Aside that it will not change.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

kurisupisuToday 07:19 am JST

Don’t like the job interview ?

Get up and leave.

Let me fix that for you: "Don't like being sexually harassed when you're applying for jobs? Too bad."

Isn't that what you are essentially saying?

No empathy for the victim

No condemnation for the harasser's actions

No advocacy for implementing laws against sexual harassment

No acknowledgement that graduates are often desperate to find a job

You might want to re-think your opinion in consideration of these things.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

"A lot of people get married to coworkers at our company. If you don't find a boyfriend at work, you will be left on the shelf," was the inappropriate advice one 23-year-old Sophia University graduate was given after seeking out guidance.

One of the first things I noticed when I first started working at a junior/senior high school was that a good percentage of the teachers either married their co-workers or their former students. That was strange for me. Even more strange was asked in my interview was that if I was married. In America, this is an illegal question, but I let it go, since it was Japan. I was also asked this by some of my co-workers, mostly women. After reading this, I guess I can kind of relate. At the same time, being new in Japan, I was also being careful on many levels.

@ Mark Harris - Yes, this abuse needs to stop, but it's up to us to stop it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

In Japan ~ I went to an interview. The interviewer asked me a question I did not like. I got up and walked out. On the way out I said, this just does not feel right. This is not the place for me. Listen, its your life. Take charge.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

There’s a whole lot of harassment for a country supposed to be so placid and polite.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

a female student who was drinking at a restaurant with an employee of a prospective employer was licked on the hand by the man when she returned from the toilet. The report said that others in attendance did nothing other than laugh after the incident.

My first reaction to the start of this story would be to ban all single male sempai worker-single female job applicant meetings in private homes, bars, and restaurants to protect the woman. However, it sounds like others can be around and the workers (the men) still feel they are in a position to completely disrespect the job applicant (woman). As Mark says, this a "power" thing, a situation where one person has total power over another. Japan has many achievements, gizmos, fantastic machines, great art, great civil engineering, but they were not created by people bullying each other or men touching up women.

It should also be remembered that this is happening when the vacancies-to-graduates ratio is at a historical high. When jobs were scarce, I would imagine it was far worse.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

In Japan ~ I went to an interview. The interviewer asked me a question I did not like. I got up and walked out. On the way out I said, this just does not feel right. This is not the place for me. Listen, its your life. Take charge.

*"Listen, its your life. Take charge."*

Such a simple response but it is the absolute truth!

We do not need harassment classes or more governmental regulations just get up and leave if you feel uncomfortable.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

I don't understand. If you get harassed, report it, case closed. If you endure it or look for it (if accepting at personal level), it means one wants to get something out of it.

Be adult...

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japan society values a strong system of hierarchy everywhere. In every situation there is the dominating side and the submissive side. A job seeker is the submissive side, whoever is the representative of the company is the dominating one. A customer in a shop is the dominating side, the staff is the submissive side. The wife is the submissive side, the husband is the dominating side. Etc.

This state unsurprisingly favors discrimination, any kind of harassement and even violence. It will take a complete upset of this society with a major shift in the way people are educated to change that.

Some have implemented a rule requiring employees to only meet with prospective hires of the same sex.

This is ridiculous and counter productive. They are not going to make things better by separating men and women.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

As a young adult living in Tokyo, I was astonished having seen sexual material such as manga portraying Japanese women being sexually exploited by their male counterparts being sold explicitly on magazine racks in book stores and convenience stores.

Nudity in itself, if an actual photograph, was wrapped in celluloid, however, manga was available for anyone, and with no age restrictions having been implemented, even a child was given the opportunity to view this material freely.

It is no wonder that sexual harassment is tolerated by their society and that any objection to it is met with a foreboding apprehension.

A retaliatory response from the victim is therefore considered to be by the perpetrator worthy of only refutation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Under scrutiny means little to nothing when the punishment is non-existent.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OK, this is Gross.

In my more youthful days, I had been approached by women, within the same Company, and if we got on well, then well... but it was never a quid-pro-pro, and some things happen naturally like that even with work colleagues.

But, the behaviour described in this article is embarrassing - not due to changes in approach over time, but simply that they're gross - there's not even a playful comedy aspect to them - which if you had in the past watched the old Brit TV/Movies such as "Carry on..." and "Benny Hill" you'd understand.

It's also great that people these days are more considerate towards others, though on the other hand, sometimes this can be taken to the opposite extreme - which is troubling.

Social openness when someone does something wrong, is a great way to start change, when clearly done correctly without persecution - a social slap-down should be sufficient there and then - and not to be held against them forever after, unless they don't continue not to learn the lesson.

I hope things continue to change for the better going forward.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There was a time they asked female job seekers about the the colour of their underwear and the size of their bra. That's ojisan' s world Japan inc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ReeseMay 25 10:33 am JST

"Listen, its your life. Take charge."

Such a simple response but it is the absolute truth!

We do not need harassment classes or more governmental regulations just get up and leave if you feel uncomfortable.

You are right that we should not not need laws against harassment or classes to train men not to harass women, but apparently they don't know any better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jonathan PrinMay 25 11:24 am JST

I don't understand. If you get harassed, report it, case closed. If you endure it or look for it (if accepting at personal level), it means one wants to get something out of it.

Be adult.

If you endure it then it means you are too terrified to do anything. It has nothing do with "being adult", and everything to do with a legitimate fear response.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You are right that we should not not need laws against harassment or classes to train men not to harass women, but apparently they don't know any better.

We also shouldn't need classes to teach women not to falsely accuse men of rape, but apparently they don't know better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@girl_in_tokyo

I do understand the the fact being harassed hurts, especially for women.

The only way out to help people is by reporting it. And then law and support centers can do the rest.

If a terrified person keeps it for him/herself, how can I help.

I am sorry that harassment cannot disappear magically because real world is what it is.

I fight it by educating my kids and everyone that one should stand up against it as soon as discovered, and that it is a mean/wrong way to treat people.

Being adult is to be experienced and educated enough, not to be 18 and have no clue to face reality.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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