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How long will it take the Japanese media to report Dentsu’s US sexual harassment lawsuit November 2, 2007

Posted by fukumimi in Japan, Media.
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Gen has many of the links on his post.

The lawsuit makes for interesting reading. It’ll be interesting to see how Dentsu and the defendants answer the charges in court.

I’m not really sure the why the plaintiff had to make a fuss about his trip to the onsen/sento in Japan, though. Prior notice was probably appropriate, but to put a sexual harassment spin on public bathing in Japan is really bizarre.

(Although to be fair, if the defendant exploited the fact that his American colleagues were not familiar with Japanese public bathing facility protocol and denied them the opportunity to avail themselves of a “modesty towel” whilst he himself did and thereby put them in a situation where they had to parade around completely naked, that would be inappropriate)

I wonder if the plaintiff has ever sued his sports club for the fact that the showers and changing room facilites are communal, too……

I find it mildly offensive that is put on the same level as being forced to go to a brothel, or taking up-skirt panty shots of tennis stars or photographing women in swimwear without their consent.

And the claim that “the plaintiff was fired in part because he is Jewish” which appears twice, is a bit of a stretch. There is no account of any racial discrimination in the filing.

Regardless, the comments attributed to the defendant, if they are true, are deeply offending. Having double penetration sex is certainly not a way in which this particular Japanese business man commemorates business dealings. Maybe it is at Dentsu, who am I to know.

The thing that most interests me is how long it will take the Japanese mainstream media to report this court case, and how much attention they will give it.

Remember just a few months ago, when a senior Toyota executive was sued for sexual harrassment, and even Toyota’s advertising purchase power was not enough to prevent the case from making it on to the TV with talking heads criticizing the indiscretion of said executive.

Dentsu however has historically been able to minimize the exposure of its dirty laundry. A few years ago, a senior Dentsu employee was arrested for indecent sexual assault on a train. (OK, he was arrested for groping a woman and the Japanese laws being what they are, don’t give out harsh enough penalties for what is plainly indecent sexual assault, and he was probably charged and fined according to the usual watered down statue the police press for such gropers) None of the TV stations (nor many of the newspapers) reported the person’s name, in contrast to many such cases committed by other people working for companies with less influence over the media.

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1. Dentsu Executive Offends and Humiliates Employee With Brothel & Onsen Trips : Japan Probe - November 2, 2007

[…] Fukushige writes on his blog that the Japanese media might avoid covering this news story, but I’m really hoping they do, since I’m quite interested in how they’d actually […]


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