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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 February 27 - March 5  > LDP, the biggest obstacle to gender equality in Japan
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2019 February 27 - March 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

LDP, the biggest obstacle to gender equality in Japan

February 27, 2019
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Motomura Nobuko at a Lower House committee meeting on February 26 said that punishments imposed on government and ruling party officials who had committed sexual harassment and sexual violence were "too lenient".

Lower House Dietmember Tabata Tsuyoshi recently resigned from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party due to a criminal accusation of rape against his dating partner. LDP lawmaker Ibuki Bunmei remarked that Tabata should have been more careful. Moreover, last year, Former Administrative Vice-Minister of Finance Fukuda Jun'ichi sexually harassed several female journalists, and Finance Minister Aso Taro protected this bureaucrat and trampled on victims' dignity by saying, "Fukuda was framed."

Motomura criticized the ruling LDP government for thwarting efforts to promote gender equality in Japan.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo merely stated that sexual assault and harassment is "impermissible" without offering any words of apology on behalf of the party.

Slated to be submitted to the current Diet session, a bill to revise the Equal Employment Opportunities Act stops short of specifying what kinds of actions correspond to sexual harassment in the workplace. Therefore, the labor authorities may face many difficulties in judging cases filed by victims as cases of sexual harassment.

Motomura pointed out that PM Abe's word "impermissible" is completely at odds with what the government is planning to do.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women calls for a law prohibiting sexual harassment. However, Japan lags far behind the international community. Japan is the only OECD member where there are no legal regulations pertaining to sexual harassment.

Motomura demanded that a system to promptly help victims be established without delay.

Past related articles:
> Ex-Education Minister defends LDP lawmaker accused of sexual assault [February 23, 2019]
> Finance Minister Aso makes series of abusive remarks over scandals surrounding the ministry [May 9, 2018]
> Finance Minister: Victims should come forward to prove ministry bureaucrat’s acts of sexual harassment [April 18, 2018]
> Opposition party lawmakers demand full probe into alleged sexual harassment by top bureaucrat [April 18, 2018]
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