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  • Human Rights Research Center

UN Working Group Says Japan Must Take Action to Counter Human Rights Abuses

May 31, 2024

A sign hangs on the facade of the headquarters of Johnny & Associates talent agency founded by Johnny Kitagawa in Tokyo, on July 10, 2019. A group working under the U.N. Human Rights Council has issued a wide-ranging report about rights in Japan, including discrimination against minorities and unhealthy working conditions. Among the issues raised in the report was alleged sexual abuse at the Japanese entertainment company formerly known as Johnny and Associates. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Cited article by AP News

HRRC calls for prompt and decisive action to investigate these claims thoroughly, ensure justice for victims, and implement the recommended measures to protect and uphold human rights in Japan. We urge all relevant authorities and stakeholders to collaborate in this vital endeavor to foster a more inclusive, fair, and safe environment for all individuals.

News Brief

A recent report from a U.N. Human Rights Council group has highlighted significant human rights issues in Japan, focusing on discrimination against minorities and poor working conditions. Released in Geneva, the report recommends several measures for improvement, including increased rights awareness training in businesses, mechanisms for addressing grievances, enhanced diversity, stricter labor condition checks, and sanctions for human rights violations. Based on the group's visit to Japan last year, the report further identifies the gender wage gap and discrimination against the Ainu indigenous group, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities as critical concerns.

Additionally, the report criticized the working conditions for foreigners and migrants, noting high cancer rates among Fukushima nuclear plant workers. It also raised concerns about the protection of whistleblowers and access to the judicial system. Another notable issue is the alleged sexual abuse at the entertainment company Johnny's, with victims seeking more substantial compensation and support than currently provided. The report calls for Smile-Up, the company’s new name, to offer victims comprehensive mental health care and legal assistance. Junya Hiramoto, a victim, acknowledged the report as an essential first step toward addressing ongoing abuse.


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