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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 18 - 24  > Finance Minister: Victims should come forward to prove ministry bureaucrat’s acts of sexual harassment
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2018 April 18 - 24 [POLITICS]

Finance Minister: Victims should come forward to prove ministry bureaucrat’s acts of sexual harassment

April 18, 2018
Finance Minister Aso Taro on April 17 at a press conference said that female journalists who have really been subjected to sexual harassment by a ministry bureaucrat should come forward with detailed information.

Aso made this remark in response to a question from the press about the ministry’s stance toward the allegation that several female reporters have been sexually harassed by Administrative Vice-Minister of Finance Fukuda Jun'ichi. This allegation was reported by the weekly magazine Shukan Shincho last week.

Aso’s remark not only insults the victims of Fukuda’s alleged sexual misconduct. Moreover, all victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault would be insulted with such a remark.

The reason why sexual abuse victims normally remain silent is that they have a fear that they would suffer further damage if they go public about what happened to them. Therefore, the protection of victims’ privacy and careful attention paid to victims’ psychological injuries are essential in dealing with sexual violence cases. Aso’s “come forward” remark is totally unacceptable.

The Finance Ministry has contracted out to the ministry-appointed law firm the investigation of the sexual harassment allegation involving the ministry’s top official. However, the validity of the findings of such biased lawyers’ investigation would be questionable.

The Finance Minister also made a remark seemingly to defend Fukuda from the sexual harassment accusation. The government’s flagrant inappropriate handling of the allegation is likely to lead to an increase in sexual harassment victims.

Past related article:
> JCP Koike demands dismissal of financial ministry's top bureaucrat over sexual harassment allegations [April 14 & 17, 2018]
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