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2022 May 25 - 31 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Shii: Lower House head Hosoda should be held accountable for his sexual harassment scandal

May 29 & 30, 2022

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on May 26 at a press conference in the Diet building commented on an allegation of sexual harassment of female journalists by House of Representatives Speaker Hosoda Hiroyuki, saying, “This is a serious problem. Hosoda should be held accountable.”

This demand has also been made by not only other opposition parties but also the ruling coalition partner Komei party and the ruling block’s supplementary force, “Nippon Ishin no Kai” Party.

Hosoda’s sexual harassment scandal was revealed by articles that the weekly magazine "Shukan Bunshun" carried on its May 19 and May 26 issues. In the magazine articles, female journalists gave testimonies regarding sexual harassment by the Lower House Speaker such as these: “I received late-night calls from Hosoda asking me to come over right away,” and “I frequently received e-mails from Hosoda asking me out for dinner.” In addition, there was a testimony that claimed Hosoda often said to women reporters, “I’ll give you the information you want if you spoon with me.”

Hosoda on May 23 sent the Shukan Bunshun editorial office a protest letter denying the allegation and three days later, he made public the letter. However, he has refused to hold a press conference.

Recently, more and more women media workers have stood up against sexual harassment and sexual abuses by politicians and government bureaucrats during news gathering activities.

If Hosoda dismisses the allegation as being groundless, he should have a press conference and answer questions in regard to the scandal.

Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio should also respond to the scandal in a sincere manner because he, as the head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, nominated Hosoda for the post of Lower House Speaker.

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