Video shows

Video shows harassment local politicians face in real life

A 29-year-old woman decides to run for a seat in a local assembly after volunteering in childcare and nursing, only to fall victim to a violent voter and heavyweight politician.

She is hospitalized after being physically and mentally exhausted.

The script is taken from a video broadcast on the official Cabinet Office YouTube account April 12 to raise awareness of harassment against local politicians.

“The video is not just for members of the assembly; it’s for everyone to watch,” Seiko Noda, minister of state for gender equality, told a news conference.

During her campaign, the protagonist of the video has her back massaged by a man from her constituency.

The man also asks her to give him her cell phone number “in exchange for my vote”.

After the woman’s election, a 70-year-old politician known as the “boss of the assembly” said, “I envy you because women can win elections if they are young and beautiful.”

She is also forced to sing a duet with him in a bar with her arm around his shoulders.

During his campaign, a member of the local assembly is asked by his constituent to give him his mobile phone number in a scene from the video produced by the Cabinet Office. (Taken from the Cabinet Office Gender Equality YouTube account)

These scenes are based on real cases of abuse encountered by local politicians.

The Cabinet Office solicited reports of harassment from local assembly members between October and November. A total of 1,324 reports were received.

Each report was reviewed by political scientists, lawyers and other experts, and the stories were dramatized for the video.

The video presents scenes of abuse, the apologies of the aggressors and the feelings of the victim, as well as explanations of the acts that constitute harassment.

The footage was produced after the Promotion of Gender Equality in Politics Act was partially amended in June last year to require central and local governments to take anti-harassment measures.

It is expected to be shown in training sessions for municipal officials and members of local assemblies.

Noda hopes many people will watch the video.

“We, as middle-aged and older members of society, engage in politics and vote without knowing what acts constitute harassment,” she said.

“It will be a big step if we watch the video, reflect on ourselves and realize that some of our actions were offensive to others.”

The footage can be viewed on the Cabinet Office Gender Equality website.