Opposition lawmaker Renho said one challenge was to ensure victims in lower-profile cases are heard and protected. TV Asahi demanded that the ministry continue its investigation and that Fukuda apologize in person. Slideshow 14 Images Cabinet minister Noda, who plans to challenge Abe for leadership of his ruling party, called for a law to strengthen protection for sexual harassment victims.
Yamaguchi has denied the allegations and was not charged. She added, though, that things might be changing for the better. Fukuda denied the allegations, and no lawsuits were filed, but the finance ministry later acknowledged the harassment and docked 20 percent of his pay for six months. Slideshow 14 Images Cabinet minister Noda, who plans to challenge Abe for leadership of his ruling party, called for a law to strengthen protection for sexual harassment victims. The broadcaster told Reuters it had received no further reply from the ministry. One of the reporters who accused Fukuda, a top bureaucrat, worked for broadcaster TV Asahi. After the TV Asahi reporter told her story of being verbally harassed to a weekly magazine, TV Asahi protested to the finance ministry, which ultimately apologized. The reporter could not be reached for comment. In Japan, prosecutors by custom do not explain decisions to the public. Opposition lawmaker Renho said one challenge was to ensure victims in lower-profile cases are heard and protected. In a statement issued on her behalf by TV Asahi last month, the reporter, who was not identified, said that she regretted that Fukuda had not admitted to the allegations and added that she hoped it would become easier for victims to take action. In the month since, harassment has remained a hot-button issue. That was what freelancer Shiori Ito said happened to her when she went public last year with allegations of rape by well-known journalist Noriyuki Yamaguchi. Administrative Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda resigned in April after accusations that he had sexually harassed a female reporter. Fukuda could not be reached for comment on this article. Ultimately, however, resolving the problem requires narrowing social and economic gender inequality, some women said. Well-known news anchor Yuko Ando echoed that view, noting that the reaction to the allegation against Fukuda gave her hope. TV Asahi demanded that the ministry continue its investigation and that Fukuda apologize in person. Neither she nor her employer identified her. Ito, who worked as an intern for Reuters during the time she says the rape occurred, is seeking compensation from Yamaguchi in a civil suit.
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