Apr 21, 2018
WASHINGTON - The U.S. State Department expressed concern Friday about sexual harassment in Japan, saying it remained "widespread" in the workplace.
The view was expressed in an annual report on human rights around the world issued two days after a top Japanese Finance Ministry official decided to quit over allegations that he sexually harassed a female reporter.
Quoting a Japanese health ministry survey in 2016, the State Department said in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017 that 30 percent of women in full- and part-time employment reported being sexually harassed at work in Japan.
Aside from sexual harassment, women continued to express concern about unequal treatment in the workplace, with women's average monthly wage being about 73 percent of that of men in 2016 in Japan, according to the report.
It also said there continued to be cases in Japan of employers forcing pregnant women to leave their jobs.
U.S. Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan said the State Department had sharpened its focus on human rights abuses against women, indigenous people and members of religious minorities, among others.
Sullivan identified Syria, Myanmar, North Korea, China, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela and Russia as countries with the most egregious human rights records.
The report covers nearly 200 countries and territories, excluding the United States.
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