A supervisor berates employees as slackers and incompetents. A president taunts, punches and forces a worker to write a letter of resignation — leading the employee to commit suicide. A whistle-blower exposes an illegal cartel, only to be banished and given mundane tasks to perform for over 20 years.
These are real-life examples of workplace harassment — known in Japan as pawahara (power harassment) — that have come to light in Japanese courtrooms over the years.
Earlier this month, the Abe administration adopted a draft bill requiring companies to set up protocols for preventing and dealing with abuses of power. If it becomes law, the legislation will take force within a year for big companies and within three years for midsize and small businesses.