Japanese students push for end to sexual harassment of job hunters

A group of university students is calling for the elimination of sexual harassment by recruiters and other company workers during their job-hunting activities.

“Please stop harassing job-seeking students by using the advantage of being able to decide whether or not to give a job, which is a life-changing matter for students,” a female student said at a news conference.

A female student who went through the job-hunting process this year said that when she ate with company employees she was frequently asked such questions as whether she had a boyfriend and about her relationship with her partner.

“I felt indignant over the fact that such inappropriate teasing could be forgiven by calling it a joke,” the student recalled.

The group also pointed out that apps for students to meet with alumni to seek advice have been used for dating and matchmaking.

Such services have become breeding grounds for sexual harassment and sexual assault cases, with some students being asked for sex in return for help with landing a job, the group said.

Under guidelines being drawn up by the labor ministry, companies are obliged to introduce measures to prevent sexual harassment of employees, but not students seeking employment.

“The same protection should be given to employees and students seeking jobs,” Mari Miura, a professor at Sophia University, said at the news conference.

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