Tokyo assembly nominated as ‘Most Evil Corporation’ over sexist heckling

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly’s heckling scandal in June is still damaging its reputation: It was just nominated as “the Most Evil Corporation of the Year.”

An 11-member citizens group that includes a lawyer, journalists and leaders of nonprofit organizations has been nominating companies for its “Black Firm” award each year since 2012 to promote fairer working environments.

The group selects nominees based on such factors as long working hours, sexual and other forms of harassment, unpaid overtime, bullying, and discrimination against temporary workers.

Although the metropolitan assembly is not a corporation, it was given a “special nomination” alongside seven companies and one school.

The sexist jeers directed at a female member on the floor of the assembly drew media attention worldwide.

“The metropolitan assembly and the assembly members are not in an employment relationship, but the taunts were sexual harassment, which reminded the public that such remarks are unacceptable at work, and we nominated the metropolitan assembly because it showed no capacity to rectify itself,” the committee said on its website.

Akihiro Suzuki of the Liberal Democratic Party shouted at fellow lawmaker Ayaka Shiomura, “Why don’t you get married soon?” as she was addressing the assembly about measures for women.

Suzuki later apologized, but Shiomura said there were other male politicians who participated in the heckling but did not come forward, and that the assembly did not try to identify them.

On Sept. 6, the committee will announce its selection for the most evil entity of the year. It is accepting votes until Sept. 5 on its website at blackcorpaward.blogspot.jp.

  • phu

    Perhaps the fact that the Tokyo metro assembly made the list even though this group is supposed to be critiquing corporations should tell them they’re addressing a symptom and not the actual problem. Either that or they just really lack focus.