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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 March 5 - 11  > 2014 International Women’s Day events take place in Tokyo
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2014 March 5 - 11 [WOMEN]

2014 International Women’s Day events take place in Tokyo

March 9, 2014
On March 8, in celebration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), various events took place in Tokyo.

In Chiyoda Ward, an NPO held a symposium on the trafficking of women and children with some 80 citizens participating.

The number of victims of human trafficking is growing, including Japanese people, along with foreigners.

At the symposium, several victims’ cases were cited: a 20-year-old Japanese woman who was forced to work as a prostitute by gangsters when she was unable to pay a large fee to a club that provided male companions for women; and an Asian woman who was brought to Japan without being informed that her job in the country was to engage in prostitution.

Hashimoto Naoko, a member of International Organization for Migration Tokyo, said, “Many of trafficked people cannot escape because traffickers threaten to ‘harm their families’ if they report their plight to the police. If you notice something suspicious, please provide that information to us right away.”

Nagano Rie, a member of the hosting NPO, Lighthouse, stressed, “Even in Japan, a number of ordinary people are suffering human smuggling. It means that anybody can be victimized at any time.”

On the same day, a rally to celebrate the IWD was held in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district with about 600 women taking part.

Shibata Masako, chair of the Japan Federation of Women’s Organizations, noted in her speech that according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2013, Japan ranks 105th among 136 countries in terms of gender equality. She appealed to the audience, “Let’s unite our efforts to improve women’s status in Japan, protect the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution, and create a nuclear power-free Japan.”

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko delivered an address as a guest speaker. “With this ‘women’s day’ spirit in our mind 365 days of the year, let’s work to put a stop to the Abe government’s anti-women policies,” she said.

After the gathering, with flowers in hand, the participants paraded through the downtown area, shouting, “Protect Article 9!” and “Save children from poverty!”
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