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36 gov't officials disciplined for harassment in 2000.

TOKYO, Aug. 1 Kyodo

Disciplinary measures were meted out to 36 national civil servants in cases of sexual harassment in the workplace last year, up from 24 in 1999, the National Personnel Authority said Tuesday.

In light of the rise in sexual harassment cases, the authority demanded government ministries and agencies strictly punish those who sexually harass their colleagues, authority officials said.

In April 1999, the authority added the prevention of sexual harassment to its rules and has since tried to deter civil servants from using sexually offensive language or behavior toward colleagues both within and outside the workplace.

But the number of central government officials punished in sexual harassment cases increased in 2000 from the previous year, with two dismissed, 10 suspended from duty, 16 slapped with pay cuts and eight reprimanded.

The authority offered guidelines on Tuesday for punishing those involved in sexual harassment. It recommends that those who commit obscene acts using threats or violence and those who force subordinates to have sexual relations or commit obscene acts by taking advantage of their position be dismissed or suspended.

It also suggests that those who repeatedly use obscene words, send e-mails with sexual content, touch others' bodies or follow them around should be suspended or receive pay cuts.

Victims of such acts often subsequently suffer psychological illnesses, and those responsible should be more severely punished by dismissal or suspension, it said.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Aug 6, 2001
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