Strong petition urges Japan gov’t to deal with harassment of job seekers


A petition with 11,333 signatures was submitted to the labor ministry in Japan urging it to step up measures against harassment targeting students seeking jobs.

IT venture firm QCCCA Inc. and others visited the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on November 12 to submit the papers, which called for the government to conduct a fact-finding survey on harassment against job-seeking students and subject them to protection under anti-harassment regulations, as well as set up viable consultation services for victims.

Ayaka Machida, 24, a graduate school student, revealed at a press conference at the labor ministry that she was once told by interviewers of a company of her choice that she was “selling her appearance and gender” and “putting on heavy makeup.” One interviewer even told her that they did not like the way she talked in a crisp, unhesitating manner.

“I hope legislation will be developed so there will be no more students who suffer due to legal loopholes,” she said.

In October, the labor ministry released a draft of guidelines for measures against workplace harassment. However, the draft did not go further than stating that it was desirable for companies to offer measures against job-seeker harassment under their own in-house policies.

It was under these circumstances that Remon Katayama, 42, service manager at QCCCA, and others launched an online signature-collection drive to call for beefed-up measures against job-hunter abuse.

Keiko Kojima, an essayist, told the same press conference, “Various forms of harassment that take place during students’ job-hunting activities have been left unaddressed. We cannot just let it pass.” (Source: The Mainichi Japan)