Ministry says record 82,797 cases of workplace bullying reported across Japan in fiscal 2018


The labor ministry said Wednesday that a record 82,797 complaints about workplace bullying, including so-called power harassment, were brought to local labor bureaus and other offices for advice and consultation in fiscal 2018 — up 14.9 percent from the preceding year.

The total number of consultations sought in the year to March, excluding inquiries and other requests involving legal matters, rose 5.3 percent to 266,535.

“Workplace bullying and harassment” was the most common issue raised in consultations, followed by “retirement for personal reasons,” at 41,258 cases, up 5.9 percent.

The ministry said that many people left their jobs after facing power harassment or abuse of authority.

“Social awareness (of harassment) is up, so cases of workers recognizing it and seeking consultations are increasing,” a ministry official said.

On the other hand, consultations regarding dismissals fell 2.0 percent to 32,614 cases, down for the ninth consecutive year.

Moves toward preventing harassment in the workplace are increasing, with the Diet having passed legislation in May that requires companies to introduce measures preventing the abuse of authority at work.

On Friday, the International Labor Organization adopted the first-ever international convention on banning violence and harassment in the workplace.

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