More robust action against sexual violence and abuse is required in Japan, which lags behind many countries in terms of gender equality, ranking 125th in the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap Index.

High rates of sexual violence persist in Japan, with 1 in 14 women having experienced forced intercourse, according to a 2020 Cabinet survey — a scourge symptomatic of patriarchal attitudes, values and practices that put many at risk of abuse.

At the same time, underreporting remains a problem, as revealed by a landmark online survey conducted by NHK in 2022, whose questionnaire I helped draft.