Lawyers, activists and many women who have suffered sexual harassment in Japan say victims have long been reluctant to speak out for fear of being blamed. Cabinet minister Noda, who plans to challenge Abe for leadership of his ruling party, called for a law to strengthen protection for sexual harassment victims. The broadcaster told Reuters it had received no further reply from the ministry. Ito, who worked as an intern for Reuters during the time she says the rape occurred, is seeking compensation from Yamaguchi in a civil suit. Public attention to the topic in the wake of the Fukuda scandal, however, is helping change attitudes. In interviews with Reuters, six prominent women said they hoped Japan was at a turning point in attitudes toward harassment, but urged steps to shrink social, political and economic gender gaps to get at the root causes of the problem. In the month since, harassment has remained a hot-button issue.
Dayana. Age: 21.
In Japan, prosecutors by custom do not explain decisions to the public.
Jolene. Age: 25.
Japan women see turning point on sexual harassment after scandal
Administrative Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda resigned in April after accusations that he had sexually harassed a female reporter. Public attention to the topic in the wake of the Fukuda scandal, however, is helping change attitudes. Fukuda denied the allegations, and no lawsuits were filed, but the finance ministry later acknowledged the harassment and docked 20 percent of his pay for six months. One of the reporters who accused Fukuda, a top bureaucrat, worked for broadcaster TV Asahi.