politics

Politician voted out after accusing mayor of sexual assault

61 Comments
By CHARLY TRIBALLEAU

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That decision was then overturned by regional authorities, but local politicians collected enough signatures from voters to stage a recall vote, public broadcaster NHK said.

A town spokesman told AFP that "2,542 out of 2,835 residents who voted supported the recall."

The recall motion could have been on hold until the police investigation is finished (or a verdict is delivered at court).

16 ( +19 / -3 )

The missing word in this article is “rape.”

15 ( +22 / -7 )

The fact that she was removed because "She damaged the dignity of the council" and not because the allegations were claimed as false is rather disturbing. Exactly the sort of social shaming that prevents victims coming forward.

Shame the victim for rocking the boat and causing trouble.

24 ( +29 / -5 )

Forced into sexual relations to advance her career perhaps?

-17 ( +9 / -26 )

Welcome to Japan.

A while back a female ALT was sharing a taxi when the vice mayor of a prefectual capital city grabbed and started fondling her (sexual assault). She complained to everyone that would listen and was consequently moved out of the city by the government run JET Programe. The vice mayor carried on as normal and te ALT was described by the board of education as "difficult and a trouble maker".

Japan is so backward in this area and it's disgustingly shameful. Nadeshko women are supposed to suffer sexual abuse in silence it seems.

31 ( +34 / -3 )

Fouel, dismal, where are the prosecutors? Disgraceful in 2020 sexual predators get a free pass.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

So much for supporting a victim, nice one Japan.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

 in a recall organized by colleagues who claimed she had sullied the town's reputation.

I would say that they have sullied the name of the town of Kusatsu way more than....her merely being the apparent victim of a rape by the mayor and not keeping her mouth shut about it did.

I would think that the town of Kusatsu would not like to be known as the town that shields rapists like that. It probably won’t benefit its reputation much now that whenever someone Googles Kusatsu (草津町), a town in Gunma prefecture known for its onsens, they’ll find stories about a rape victim being hounded out of her job by her rapist who is also the mayor of the town. It would surely be really bad for the town if mention of this incident made it onto sites like Trip Advisor and I would absolutions hate it more than anything if its reputation were further sullied by people outraged by this doing anything to propogate knowledge of this incident to potential visitors to the town like that.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Arai was removed from office by fellow politicians in the town, who accused her of "scandalous" remarks that hurt "the dignity" of the council.

And now they have worsened their reputation 1000-fold. This will be international news, and the town's name will be muddied around the world. Who would want to visit a town filled with such disgusting people?

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Typical small town political mafia.

That decision was then overturned by regional authorities, but local politicians collected enough signatures from voters to stage a recall vote, public broadcaster NHK said. A town spokesman told AFP that "2,542 out of 2,835 residents who voted supported the recall."

Take it the 2542 were connected to the local Dons by various favors received and provided. TIJ.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This news made it into the BBC Worldservice 7:00 a.m (Japanese time) headlines.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Japan is so backward in this area and it's disgustingly shameful. Nadeshko women are supposed to suffer sexual abuse in silence it seems.

Yeah...as everyoine knows the real problem is that us gaijin just don,t understand the unique Japanese culture in this regard....luckily its almost the end of the year and if all goes well Japan will enter 1821 with a new attitude alligned with the rest of the  "developed" countries it so longs to be recognized by.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

The mayor keeps a record of when his office door and curtains are open or closed and retains that information for at least several years?

15 ( +16 / -1 )

So much for supporting a victim, nice one Japan.

Alleged victim. Claims like these need to be made to the police a.s.a.p., and I, for one, would have sued her pants off if she had made such allegations about me in public.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

The only female councilor in a Japanese town has been voted out of office after accusing the mayor of sexual assault, in a recall organized by colleagues who claimed she had sullied the town's reputation.

Appalling shameful act to publicly humiliate Shoko Arai in such and brutal and unnecessary manner.

“Womenomics,” the so called policy to highlight and increase the role of women in the economy and politics.

Meaningless drivel

8 ( +10 / -2 )

And the American "Me Too" movement.

Shameful story.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Alleged victim. Claims like these need to be made to the police a.s.a.p., and I, for one, would have sued her pants off if she had made such allegations about me in public.

Good thing you're not a politician then.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Womenomics,” the so called policy to highlight and increase the role of women in the economy and politics.

Whatever happened to this particular LDP media sound bite gem?......guess its hanging out with the 3 arrows, zero waiting for childcare, society where all citizens participate, beautiful Japan and the rest in the clouds.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And that my friends is the illogical reasoning that ripe throughout Japanese culture. Just like the complaints about the NIKE commercial focusing on racism in Japan!

ie. Let's just all put our heads in the sand and pretend that it does not exist. It makes me feel uncomfortable!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

And that my friends is the illogical reasoning that ripe throughout Japanese culture. Just like the complaints about the NIKE commercial focusing on racism in Japan!

> ie. Let's just all put our heads in the sand and pretend that it does not exist. It makes me feel uncomfortable!

Japanese Standard Operating Procedure. That's what they've done for EVERYTHING- From Rape to Racism to Radiation from Fukushima to Covid infections... the list goes on and on.. That's just how they do it here. Don't deal with the problem. Ignore it and hope it goes away.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

ahar

Exactly. How would he possibly remember if his office door and curtains were open or closed on a particular day a few years ago? If he remembered they had been closed, would that be an admission of guilt? Ridiculous line of defense.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The only female councillor in a Japanese town has been voted out of office

Was this is a regular election of citizens? If so, 50% of the people voting her out are female.

I don't remember anyone saying anything about Hyogo's reputation when that politician Nonomura cried in that interview when asked about his dodgy trips to an onsen. That footage went completely viral and was shown worldwide.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just like the complaints about the NIKE commercial focusing on racism in Japan!

Actually this is the complete opposite of the Nike commercial. Shoko Arai blamed the alleged perpetrator of sexual assault. Nike blamed all Japanese of racism. Big difference.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

This is a country in which you can be found guilty of libel even if you print the truth - there's nothing those in power fear more.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A town spokesman told AFP that "2,542 out of 2,835 residents who voted supported the recall."

This is Democracy at work.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It is rare for rape victims to report the crime to the police -- according to a 2017 government survey, only four percent of women come forward.

If this is to insinuate that she was raped, all accusers need proof and she seems to have none. Only the two of them really know what happened but the burden of proof is upon the accuser and I understand them voting her out. You damage someone's reputation and have no proof for your allegations, you are on a slippery slope.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This is what they do! Instead of handling the main problem (sexual assault) in this case, they attack the victim and shame her for speaking out. For goodness sake, Japan officials........come on! Come on up to the present times!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

With news like this coming out of Japan, it can look forward to becoming a world leader in gender equality. It's already at number 121. With a few more episodes like this, the ground's the limit. Go To Nippon!

... And Syouko, WE BELIEVE YOU! This is for you - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46446/still-i-rise

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No hara. No power hara. No seku hara. But don’t you dare sully the reputation of the town by claiming to have been victim to these things.

Please understand that displaying posters of these campaigns is sufficient in dealing with the issues.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

How does this man "remember" the curtains and door were open on the exact date and time? Most people don't know what they had for breakfast a few years ago, let alone how a door and curtains were. Guilty!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Well, that council has no dignity in the first place.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What is more infuriating and worrying is that the whole bloody town is implicated in this bullying of a sexual assault victim since they effected it through a referendum. Its really a disgrace and I'm afraid that town deserves all the bad publicity it is going to get from this.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

A town spokesman told AFP that "2,542 out of 2,835 residents who voted supported the recall."

That is democracy at work. You guys are in favor of democracy, right?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

That is democracy at work. You guys are in favor of democracy, right?

I haven't seen anyone saying she should claim the vote was a fraud without any evidence and refuse to accept the results. Have you? That would be very undemocratic for sure. Good thing nobody is suggesting something so idiotic.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good old Japan. I love when people here complain that they rank DEAD LAST among G8 countries, and something like 122 out of 145 with the latter number of countries in the world ranked, on human rights and gender issues.

Ego Sum Lux Mundi: "That is democracy at work. You guys are in favor of democracy, right?"

Ask 1000 Yomiuri Shimbun fans which newspapers is the best and they will nearly all say (some not by choice) that it's the Yomiuri Shimbun. That doesn't automatically mean Yomiuri is the best, and doesn't accurately display the feelings of the nation.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I mean, seriously, Ego Sum Lux... you think they asked for signatures from people who did NOT want a recount?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Justice and law are only distantly related and journalists in Japan are only copywriters. Including the foreign ones. Everyone for example knows about my stolen dogs and who took them for 4 years but nobody wants to get involved to bring them home as one was given to a diplomat. I fight on. A lonely battle

1 ( +3 / -2 )

How does this man "remember" the curtains and door were open on the exact date and time?

Of course he knows it! Thanks to rule 1235 chapter 5 of the regulations governing the office of mayor.

"The mayor must complete the C253 checklist every day in triplicate stamp it by himself and have it double checked by his assistant. One copy must be sent to the ministry in charge, one copy sent to the prefecture office and one copy keep in the archives of the town hall for at least 10 years. "

"The checklist C253 is to verify if the door and the shutters are open every hour, to check every 2 hours if the fax is correctly connected and 3 times a day (arriving in the morning, at the end of the lunch break and at the end of the day) if the telegraph line is well connected. The stock of coal of the town hall must be checked every two days and the stock of oats for the horses on Wednesday between 9:23 am and 10:19 am. "

No error possible!!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No surprise.

This nation remains very chauvinistic, albeit slowly changing to offer women more equal rights. Wait for a few more decades..

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They make cameras for cars to catch road ragers/accident liability. Why not make body cameras for women meeting bosses/celebrities? It will always be he said she said without visual and/or audio evidence unfortunately.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What will vote do without justice ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Does anyone know if Arai has gone to the police with this, the article doesnt specifically say, surely that is where she should start this & insist on an investigation......

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Post was deleted, I dont think you should be protesting right now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Post was deleted, I dont think you should be protesting right now.

The article makes no reference to any protests, nor have there been any in relation to the incident.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My wife was sexually harassed at the company she worked for. She went to hr who did nothing about it . The perv was a high manager. She left the company. Looks like arai unfortunately has gone and is still going through the same. My wife's story ended more happily though as she spotted the guy when we were out shopping. I had a ' quiet word' with him.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

My wife's story ended more happily though as she spotted the guy when we were out shopping. I had a ' quiet word' with him.

What did you say to the perv and how did he react?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Bungle I'll try to answer calmly:

Alleged victim. Claims like these need to be made to the police a.s.a.p., and I, for one, would have sued her pants off if she had made such allegations about me in public.

You are obviously tremendously ignorant on the issue of sexual abuse survivors. Research the stories of sexual abuse survivors and have a good long think about your stated stupidity. Here I will help you

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/woman-calls-bill-cosby-a-serial-rapist-as-sexual-assault-retrial-begins

if reading hurts your brain too much listen to this episode. it's 33 minutes that is very raw.

https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9yc3MuYXJ0MTkuY29tL2NoYXNpbmctY29zYnk/episode/Z2lkOi8vYXJ0MTktZXBpc29kZS1sb2NhdG9yL1YwL0hMNHN5UlA2YnlYY05hdzBkUjhYdUhIZHkzbVllbk56azdtd2FvSE1jQkE?sa=X&ved=0CAUQkfYCahcKEwjA79nFzL3tAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQHQ&hl=en-JP

If you aren't moved by the victims stories, Yes you probably would sue. You'd be a loser though.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

metoo #kusatsu trending on twitter now. These men have done so poorly in their efforts to protect their friends fragile pride.
3 ( +4 / -1 )

@simon g

Come back to me when the accused has been convicted in a court of law, and then I may engage with your rhetoric.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Alleged victim. Claims like these need to be made to the police a.s.a.p., and I, for one, would have sued her pants off if she had made such allegations about me in public.

Ever heard of PTSD?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

CrickyToday  08:10 am JST

So much for supporting a victim, nice one Japan.

Hey Japan, you have technological greatness but it's time for catch-up in certain circles. Rape is never kosher, it's a destructive crime. It's time to stop victim shaming and sto shoving it under the rug.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Come back to me when the accused has been convicted in a court of law, and then I may engage with your rhetoric.

You couldn't keep up.

I guess you are unaware of how Japanese police deal with allegations. There have been times the victim has had to re-enact the rape. This century!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Less than 4% of sex crimes are reported. When you treat people who report potential sex crimes this way, its only natural that people won't speak up about it. How do you take action without an investigation? Furthermore, treatment like this are why women are not trying to venture into politics

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sounds about right.

Question old men and accuse them or sexual harassment......OUT.

Women try to enter medical universities, but numbers are forged to allow more men....no problem.

Work as a foreigner, but management is "afraid of you" because they can't communicate with the "scary" foreigner, but in reality, they can't "control" the foreigner.

Male "celebrity" has a sexual affair, he bows, everything is fine. A female "celebrity" has a sexual affair she's fired and blacklisted.

No one is cares about the 2021 Olympics, yet the government insists on spending tax money to "fund" it.

Gotta love Japan and their "logic."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Less than 4% of sex crimes are reported. 

And most of the reported sex crimes will never be prosecuted; and even if they are prosecuted, the punishments for rape is very light in Japan, generally only probation. Even repeat offenders rarely have to serve time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well that town will never see a yen of my money.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

OK, I don't get it. Why does everyone seem to immediately assume Woman here is saying the truth and Man here is a lying rapist?

Maybe if it was only the council, but if even the residents vote overwhelmingly to kick her out, then is there something they know that we don't? Like Man actually having a good reputation and thus being an unlikely womanizer?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Maybe if it was only the council, but if even the residents vote overwhelmingly to kick her out, then is there something they know that we don't? Like Man actually having a good reputation and thus being an unlikely womanizer?

A good reputation is nothing. Most criminals have good reputation before their crimes were uncovered.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stories like this make me sick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sad and disheartening.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just to be clear, is the Kusatsu in question the hot spring resort in Gunma?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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