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Japan's military needs more women. But it's still failing on harassment.

13/5/2024 12:45
        As Japan embarks on a major military build-up, it's struggling to fill its ranks with the women that its forces need and its policymakers have pledged to recruit.
        Following a wave of sexual harassment cases, the number of women applying to join the Self-Defence Forces (SDF) decreased by 12% in the year ending
        
        March 2023, after several years of steady growth. Some victims have said an entrenched culture of harassment could deter women from signing up.
        
        But nine months after the defence ministry pledged to take drastic measures, it has no plans to take action on a key recommendation issued by an independent panel of experts - implementing a national system for reviewing anti-harassment training standards - according to two ministry officials
        responsible for training.
        
        The government-appointed panel had identified in a report published in August that the military's superficial harassment education - which made only limited mention of sexual harassment - and a lack of centralised oversight of such training were contributing factors to cultural problems within the institution.
        



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