Japanese officials to learn not to be sex pests

TOKYO • Japan is drawing up plans requiring all senior government bureaucrats to undergo anti-sexual harassment training, an official said yesterday, in the wake of a scandal involving a top Finance Ministry employee.

"We are now preparing such a plan," a Cabinet office official said, adding that a final version will be presented at a meeting headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this month.

The move comes after the top bureaucrat at the Finance Ministry, Administrative Vice-Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda, quit in April following allegations he sexually harassed female reporters.

The Finance Ministry was slammed for its poor handling of the case, with Finance Minister Taro Aso initially dismissing the allegations and officials later calling on victims to come forward publicly.

Earlier this week, a Foreign Ministry official in charge of Russian affairs was suspended for nine months, with Japanese media widely reporting he had been accused of sexual harassment.

The training plan could be approved as early as next week at the meeting, entitled, "Base for creating a society where all women shine," that Mr Abe will head, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported.

How many officials will be required to undergo the training remains unclear, though some media reported it may become mandatory for bureaucrats seeking promotion.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'Japanese officials to learn not to be sex pests'. Print Edition | Subscribe