Japan’s media is riddled with sexual harassment scandals

The #MeToo movement was initially slow to spread in Japan but is now quickly gaining ground.


The latest source of debate is a journalist, claiming a top figure in the Finance Ministry sexually harassed her. The woman, who wishes to have her identity withheld, told her story to the Shukan Shinco, a weekly magazine, which then reported the case earlier this month.


The bureaucrat in question, Administrative Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda, abruptly stepped down, saying the allegation left him unable to do his job. He denies the allegation.


photo credit to: https://e.vnexpress.net

Hours later, TV Asahi, a reputable Japanese media outlet, announced that the woman was an employee. The broadcaster said she decided to reveal her identity because she feared remaining anonymous would jeopardize the credibility of her claim.


The scandal is encouraging other female journalists to speak up about sexual harassment in Japan. Since the scandal broke, numerous Japanese sites have been receiving emails from other female Japanese journalists describing workplace sexual harassment.


All requested that their names be withheld and many said it was necessary to share their experiences to let the public know about the problem in a male-dominated environment and to protect younger females from becoming victims.


One woman says that when she was in her early 20’s and still a greenhorn, a very high-ranking official took interest in her and phoned her multiple times in a day and when she did not answer, he always left unpleasant messages.


When the woman further ignored him, his messages got more threatening. The woman was from a major media organization and decided to tell her experience to The Japan Times in an email. She continued that she was scared but didn’t know what to do.


When it was all over, she couldn’t tell anyone her experience because of victim blaming.


Reference: Me Too rises in Japan as sexually harassed journalists speak out


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