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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 11 - 17  > JCP Koike demands dismissal of financial ministry's top bureaucrat over sexual harassment allegations
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2018 April 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Koike demands dismissal of financial ministry's top bureaucrat over sexual harassment allegations

April 14 & 17, 2018
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira at a press conference held on April 16 demanded that Administrative Vice-Minister of Finance Fukuda Jun'ichi be dismissed for allegedly harassing a female reporter in a sexual way.

Fukuda reportedly made sexual remarks to the reporter, such as "Can I touch your breasts?" "Can I tie your hands?" and "Let's have an affair." An audio source of alleged exchange of words with this woman has been released and sexual-harassment "testimonies" of several female journalists have also been reported.

However, Fukuda published a comment earlier on the same day in which he denies the allegations and asks the woman to come forward with evidence.

Regarding this comment, Koike said that protection of victims is the main principle of the rules in dealing with sexual harassment and criticized Fukuda for committing yet another act of harassment.

According to media reports, Fukuda initially admitted to the conversation recorded on the audio data. Koike raised question, "Then, why is it that he made a 180-degree turn in his response?"

Before Fukuda made the comment, he had told the press that he would release a statement (on his allegations) after making adjustments. To this, Koike said, "When an administrative vice minister mentions some kind of 'adjustment', it means he/she will discuss the matter with a minister or with the Cabinet Office. If the government ordered Fukuda to cope with the situation in a way to antagonize women, it would be a big problem." Koike expressed his determination to thoroughly pursue this issue.

Cross-party female Dietmembers

Eleven female members of the Diet in different political parties on April 13 made a representation to State Minister of Finance Ueno Ken'ichiro to examine the facts and to remove Fukuda if the media reports are found to be true.

They also stressed the need for the country's administrative organs to be reformed to a globally-acceptable level in their awareness of human rights.

From the Japanese Communist Party, Hatano Kimie (House of Representatives) and Kira Yoshiko (House of Councilors) joined this representation.

Fukushima Mizuho (House of Councilors) of the Social Democratic Party during the meeting with Ueno said, "We, Dietwomen, cannot allow ourselves to ignore the issue the newswomen have raised." Abe Tomoko (House of Representatives) of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan said, "It doesn't mean anything is permissible as long as it occurs during non-working hours. The allegations demonstrate the true colors of Abe government's arrogance."
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