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For the past two weeks, media outlets in Japan have been interrogating themselves over the revelation that female reporters are exposed to sexual harassment due to the nature of their work. When weekly magazine Shukan Shincho published a story alleging that Administrative Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda, who has since quit, made sexually suggestive remarks to a woman assigned by her company to the Finance Ministry press club, the situation was complicated by the circumstances of the exchange. The woman had secretly recorded Fukuda’s remarks, an act considered by some to be a violation of journalistic ethics and an aspect the Finance Ministry exploited when it responded to the accusation by asking the reporter to talk to an outside lawyer who would handle its investigation.

The reporter did not come forward, but then TV Asahi announced that the woman in question was its employee and she wanted to reveal the fact in order to bolster the credibility of her claim while remaining anonymous. At a midnight news conference on April 19, a spokesman for the broadcaster explained their actions.

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