Japan store reviews plan for staff to wear menstruation badges after outcry

Menstruating staff would have to wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" (right) - loosely translated as "Miss Period".
Menstruating staff would have to wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" (right) - loosely translated as "Miss Period".PHOTOS: WWD JAPAN/TWITTER

TOKYO (REUTERS) - A Japanese department store is reconsidering a plan for employees to wear badges when they're menstruating, which was originally aimed at fostering sympathy among co-workers but triggered a public outcry.

The Daimaru Umeda department store in Osaka said on Thursday (Nov 28) that it had hoped to encourage bonding by having menstruating staff wear a badge featuring an existing manga character named "Seiri Chan" - loosely translated as "Miss Period".

"We received many complaints from the public. Some of them concerned harassment, and that was definitely not our intention."

We're reconsidering plans now," said a male executive who declined to be named. A spokesman was not immediately available.

The backlash comes as cases of workplace harassment have come under the spotlight in Japan, amid a shrinking workforce and changing values about gender roles and work-life balance.

Companies are increasingly and publicly being criticised for bullying and gender discrimination.

The Daimaru executive said the store had not intended to make the badge compulsory.