Japan revises law to protect against same-sex sexual harassment

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare acts on rising reports of sexual harassment by colleagues of the same gender

Japan revises law to protect against same-sex sexual harassment
25 December 2013

Japan has taken a small step towards better gender equality by banning same-sex sexual harassment in the workplace.

From July 2014, a female boss who keeps asking subordinates of the same sex to dine with her could have violated a revised law, reports Kyodo news agency.

Likewise, men sharing adult jokes or obscene rumors among themselves may be classified as sexual harassment.

An increasing number of relevant complaints has prompted the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to revise an act on gender employment equality on Dec 24.

Employers will have to formulate a policy to ensure perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment will be punished, while establishing in advance a consultation counter to give advice and handle complaints.

The ministry believes many cases of sexual harassment stem from gender misconceptions.

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