politics

Finance Ministry officials given lectures on sexual harassment

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Kinda hard to take the Finance Ministry or the 'training' seriously when I see at least 4 oyaji in the picture outright sleeping.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

LOL

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Look at the scowls!

Hey if you gotta be sexual with those around you, don’t harass!

How hard is it to be a normal decent person?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Looks at their faces hahahahha

Seriously this is a meeting for common sense!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Awrsom photo it captures the reason for Japan's economic stagnation. Sleepy old men. Waiting to clock off and go to a snack bar. Sexual harassment? Snooze time.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The audience look really committed to the idea! You can see this is going to go a long way towards solving the problem!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Their arrogance became the cause of the scandal. The Finance Ministry is considered the top ministry of Japan and the staffs are believed the brightest of Japan's bureaucracy. They think they are leading the country. They are chosen from top ranking appllicants who passed the difficult exams. The best students of Tokyo University enter the ministry. If anybody meet them at the ministry, you will be shocked about their high handedness. They look down upon people and you will be treated contemptuously. For them not only women but all are dumb.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Since 2014 the Cabinet Office has been responsible for appointing all of the top bureaucrats at every ministry. That's around 600 people who owe their jobs directly to the LDP and Suga, the Chief Cabinet Secretary. As one might imagine, unquestioning loyalty to the Abe regime is demanded. By all accounts there is a spy network in place, set up by Suga, listening for any signs of criticism of the government. It's been described as a "reign of terror".

Not only are there senior bureaucrats now an appendage of the LDP, unable to offer independent advice and afraid to speak their minds, they are publicly humiliated in these "re-education camps" or training courses, as they are formally known. No wonder they look sullen, aggressive and bored.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What a farce

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I feel sorry for the woman in the picture.

How hard is it to be a normal decent person?

It's not at all. But given that this is the LDP I'd say its down right impossible.

Awrsom photo it captures the reason for Japan's economic stagnation. Sleepy old men. Waiting to clock off and go to a snack bar. Sexual harassment? Snooze time.

Very profound and very true.

As one might imagine, unquestioning loyalty to the Abe regime is demanded. By all accounts there is a spy network in place, set up by Suga, listening for any signs of criticism of the government. It's been described as a "reign of terror".

I've heard that from quite a number of different sources. Abe and KIm seem to be different cheeks of the same backside.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Now if that is done just for a photo op i dont know what is.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

...And, the last training course with the aim of preventing honey trap before they are going to grave.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

And pray tell where is the most "senior" official? The one who actually needs the training the most?

This is totally an appeasement gesture aimed to make it seem to the public that something is being done.

BS!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

You can see how seriously the senior officials are taking it by the intense concentration and attention on their faces.

NOT!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

It’s tough for me to say which feeling is stronger- I’m glad that this is being taught, so there is no longer “confusion”. And I’m appalled that this actually needs to be explained.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And, of course, it's a woman giving the lecture; you know, gotta keep reinforcing those traditional stereotypes!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Absolutely pointless! Those who are not sleeping are paying no attention at all to anything she is saying. Maybe if they made the presentation into a manga comic it might get some attention.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

To celebrate working so hard at that sexual harassment seminar, all those guys probably had an enkai after at a hostess bar where they sat there and sexually harassed the hostesses.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The faces of arrogance of the audience speaks volumes!

As much as I like Japan, and call this my home, some things drive me nuts and it is people like those listening to the ladies presentation (again...those arrogant faces in the audience)

8 ( +10 / -2 )

And pray tell where is the most "senior" official? The one who actually needs the training the most?

Indeed! Probably in the back sleeping as well. You can tell from this picture the guys don't want to be there and don't care. If they could actually get punished for sexual harassment im sure they would pay more attention. This lesson is as a user above already said just "common sense" something completely missing in Kasumigaseki.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How hard is it to be a normal decent person?

This is a tough question actually.

What is normal and decent?

Think about “window shopping”.

Is window shopping normal and decent?

Is it sexual harassment to window shop?

Does it depend on whether it is realized that one is the subject of window shopping or not?

Is it acceptable behavior to look (ogle)?

Is it biologically possible or reasonable to expect every person on earth to not look?

I am sure many people feel uncomfortable with the roaming eyes of others. Is that Suzuka harassment? If not then where is the line?

None of this is written anywhere, so I don’t expect to see a world of normal decent people anytime soon because I haven’t a clue what it is.

Fortunately I am already a happy family man and this is largely other people’s problems for me (touch wood).

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Suzuka - Sexual. Thx

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I am sure this will become a new genre of porn! At the sekuhara class in my company a 50 yo guy was practically squealing about how could his comments be sekuhara if he didn't intend them to be.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Hahaha! Bunch of oyajis hearing what sexual harassment is for their very first time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

That photo and the body language of the suits tells a thousand words. Love it. You can imagine the under the breathe after comments. The re-education programme begins .

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Two patterns to be switched at will. The tilted head; or the eyes down look of defeat and indifference. Nippon no Kaigi!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Half are asleep and the other half are probably having creepy sexual fantasies about the woman speaking.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The guy with the face mask at the far end kept his head down throughout the TV news last night.

Their body language sure looks uncomfortable. We had lectures like this at my workplace, called suddenly for the whole staff; no-one was there voluntarily. The resentment was often towards the boss for his ability to order people around like this. The temperature in the room and the microphone system were usually slightly off in some way. Even some of the ladies seemed uncomfortable. The lecturer, however, was usually very good, dealing with the subject in a cut-and-dried matter-of-fact way.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I would bet that the vast majority of the men in that room have never sexually harassed anybody. Isn't it sort of sexist (of the anti-male variety) to lump them all in with that Fukuda guy or whatever his name is?

If I were one of those men, I would stand up and say, "Look, I have never sexually harassed anyone in my life and never would. It's a total waste of my time being here, getting lectured about behavior of which I'm not guilty and that I already know is wrong. So, screw this. I've got work to do. I'm leaving."

Then I would walk out.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Their body language sure looks uncomfortable. We had lectures like this at my workplace, called suddenly for the whole staff; no-one was there voluntarily. The resentment was often towards the boss for his ability to order people around like this. 

I would suspect it also had to do with the fact that the vast majority of your co-workers would never engage in the behavior in question in the first place. And they were probably pissed off that they had to waste valuable time during the day being lectured about something they were never guilty of, and would never BE guilty of.

I too have had to attend workplace lectures about this behavior and that behavior, and that's how I always felt about it. I always felt I was being condescended to, having to listen to a sanctimonious sermon about behavior that I already knew was wrong.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Yes but if one learned something that's a victory. I'm hopeful that a % already know what behavior is unacceptable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The vast majority of sekuhara cases in Japan could disappear if there were no office drinking parties in my opinion.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sexual harassment in Japanese companies is a joke. A friend of mine who works for a taxi company was constantly sexually harassed by senior staff, with such comments as "Why don't you lift up your dress, it will make you feel cooler". She was also asked to go to a love hotel after a work function. Then they made her the only staff member as the company representative to attend a seminar on sexual harassment.

One time I was propositioned by a female owner of an English school I worked for. She asked me to go to a hotel together to relax. I told her to go to her home to relax without me. I resigned not long afterwards...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Claytonn yes it's not a gender thing.

Me too is it a compliment? Attractions are fickle but using power i.e. Position of power now that's crossing a line

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Clayton Plater: One time I was propositioned by a female owner of an English school I worked for. She asked me to go to a hotel together to relax. I told her to go to her home to relax without me. I resigned not long afterwards...

Many men would envy that proposition.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don’t blame these guys for looking so disgusted for being dragged in for re-programming by the company. It is being assummed that all men are predators who need to be taught how to be decent human beings. Instead the company should treat all employees as innocent until found otherwise and address offenders individually. Despite what the press is pushing, not all men are out to sexually assault women at the drop of a hat.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If they were really serious, they'd include women in the group, as 100% of the harrassment is not always made by men, as written above, though it would possibly make the 'oyaji' a little uncomfortable. They could also include aru-hara and pauwa-hara (alcohol- and power-based harrassment) in the mix, which affects everyone, including the LGBT staff who also are subjected to it.

And for those who have to endure karaoke sessions after hours with bosses, kara-hara (karaoke harrassment) can be extremely painful; staff with little vocal ability or confidence being forced to sing in front of peers, seniors and juniors!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I recall a few instances of sexual approaches in work settings, but since they do not really bother me I would not use the term harassment. First, I was in my early 20's as a high school teacher in Japan on a teacher trip to an onsen. A 40+ yo female English teacher somehow entered my room (we were all drunk) and tried to remove my towel and see my unit. Had we had more time I may have partaken. Second time I was in my early 30's at a professional firm and a large 40+ white woman who was my supervisor kept wanting to have meetings on a couch in one of our empty conference rooms. She was obviously super horny and you could even smell it and see flushed skin. I had no interest, but it did not particularly bother me when she sat touching my knee repeatedly. Another instance was by a gay male supervisor who tried to pull in for a kiss, but I made it clear "no thanks".

1 ( +3 / -2 )

May be it should be pointed out to those attending that at the end of the seminar there will be mandatory questions to be asked based on the contents of the presentation.

Failing to get a pass mark on the questionnaires will result in 30% pay cut and compulsory in re-attending the course again and will also be reflected in their performance management to take into account of their, if any, future promotion.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"Finance Minister Taro Aso had called on the ministry to provide intensive training for senior officials and take necessary measures by hearing opinions from female employees to prevent misconduct from happening again."

So, where's Aso in the picture? I'm guessing he thinks "I don't need to be there! I know what women want! hehehehe". Half the guys in the picture look like they want to kill, and I have ZERO doubt they're going to walk out of the meeting angry, not sympathetic. Forget the lecture, and skip to making it a law that sexual harrassment will result in prosecution and firing. Give the appropriate information, of course, but I don't think this will work without any kind of punishment when they walk out the door grumbling about women and saying what they'd like to do with this one, that one, and then taking said anger home with them. It's not enough.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Maybe they should get a bunch of talentless teenage girls clad in suggestive costumes to sing about sexual harassment, pretty sure that would get their attention. :-/

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The guilty ones are the ones bending their heads down

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Civiitas

good one :-)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sexual harassment happens because of an attitude problem, the same source of power-harassment and moral harassment: the attitude that there are certain people "below" you and they can be peppered with unprofessional. belittling, dehumanizing remarks and shouldn't complain about it, because "it's for your own good" "I'm complimenting you" "you should be glad you're cute/young/talented enough to get this treatment from me." It's an attitude that says a subordinate's "no" doesn't mean no. It's the attitude that subordinates' rights to their own feelings and boundaries are earned by rank and are not inherent.

In very hierarchical organizations, it might be taboo to say no, to ignore, or make a sour displeased face at a superior, so they mistake this taboo and lack of negative feedback surrounding their position for consent, and even end up with the delusion their behavior is funny or cute and that they are well-liked as a person by their staff--so the behavior is "normalized", perpetuated and escalated.

(This brings up another huge question then, why are women in Japanese society so often given this "subordinate" treatment even from male peers, in relationships outside the workplace, in pop culture etc?)

I hope these lectures go into the underlying attitudes rather than just checklists of don't say this or that, because getting to the root problem is the only way to deescalate situations ripe for abuse regardless of the sex of the perps and victims. It would help empower people who witness harassment ("hey don't harass" but also "here's what to do if you see harassment happening" ), and would also be applicable to power- and various other harassment situations.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, the sleeping and looks on faces does rather call into question their level of interest.

Now, if the lecture was about HOW to sexually harass a colleague, there might be some interest.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I lectured a few times group of oyajis in Japan.

What you see in the photo as sleepy/boring faces and attitudes is typical whatever topic you are talking about and however entertaining the lecturer may be.

Add the standard grey table and black suit to each one of them to get that photo and feeling nothing can be done.

Harassment is widespread and accepted.

It will change only if law is applied and no BS salary cut given as mere punishment (anyway oyaji pay a lot to get sexual satisfaction at bars...)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They could add spice and zest to that class with live role playing.

"Okay Mr. Kudo, please sexually harass Mr. Ito by escalating on him until he gets uncomfortable."

"Okay Mr. Ito, let us know when you feel uncomfortable with the knee rubbing, and nipple pinching."

"Mr. Ito! Mr. Ito! That is just too far!"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

One of those ’対策’ conducted to put a tick on a list, and pronounce that the Finance Ministry does take action on its members wrongdoings..

Now you people stop asking for Aso to retire, coz he owned the situation and organized this great seminar XD

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This would make a great Japanese TV show. Show the actual course lecture to a bunch of comedians on a panel with a studio audience and let the good times roll!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ok, up comes the test!

Who learned something or anything at all from that lecture?

....... No hands in the air?

Thought so!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'd be willing to bet a large sum of money that most of the oyaji's nodding off in this photograph wouldn't last five minutes in the real world. They haven't a clue how to deal with people. They are in the positions they are because of "graduation" from a name university and the old boy network.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hakman, “If I were one of those men, I would stand up and say, "Look, I have never sexually harassed anyone in my life and never would. It's a total waste of my time being here, getting lectured about behavior of which I'm not guilty and that I already know is wrong. So, screw this. I've got work to do. I'm leaving."

Then I would walk out.”

These are senior officials. Meaning they need this training not just for themselves but because they are responsible for the workplace environment among those below them.

Reckless, “If they were really serious, they'd include women in the group, as 100% of the harrassment is not always made by men”

No one is denying sexual harassment can be by women also. There are very few women senior officials but why are you assuming they were not included? I do believe I see one in the very back however it is hard to tell and the photo does not show the entire group.

The Japanese TV reports of this that I saw all focused on the fact that Aso himself was not there and Ms Sugaya gave a very good comment about that afterwards.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am wondering what is going through these old guys brains, could it be " yes we will have to stop all sexual harassment at work for woman and men, or could it be hurry love, its 5,30 its clocking off time and I need to go to a hostess bar, give it a rest your just like my wife banging on about what you want, its time for my nap, i need a load of shirts ironing for next weeks meeting, i wonder if she can iron ok?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Finance Ministry officials given lectures on sexual harassment

They're gonna be much better at it now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As with most lectures in Japan, people just sleep right through it and mark of the training as done and nothing changes. What a joke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There seems to be a wavering between denying the issue entirely (VicePM Aso et al.) and imposing DRACONIAN punishment for one (possible ignorant) slip! I recently commented on the latter problem, thinking of the songster for TOKIO whose dismissal ended the group's cohesiveness and a major of a KANTO city, who also seems headed not only for losing his job, but fro a future of unemployment. A clarification for all officials senior enough that their refusal as would-be sexual partners poses the risk of career losses (from loss of chances for promotion to loss of job itself) that their sexual advances must be separated from the workplace-threat-possibility IS NOT A WASTE OF TIME for any man. A rewriting of the law, if need be, to enable a distinction between sexual harassment and rape (or similarly worse acts) and a gradation of punishments would prevent the possibility, now looming, of men's despairing over the penalty so much as to go even further with the "intrusive sexual advances unfairly empowered by employer status" that might serve as one definition of sexual harassment. IF they risk their entire career anyway, what do they have to lose by refraining from rape and stopping at mere harassment?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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