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Japan mayor quits over 99 sexual harassment allegations | World News


NEW DELHI: The resignation of a Japanese mayor, who was facing 99 allegations of sexual harassment, has sparked outrage on social media.
Hideo Kojima, the 74-year-old mayor of a town in the central Gifu region, denied some of the allegations and became emotional during a press conference.
An official investigation found Kojima guilty of several incidents of harassment, including touching a colleague’s breasts and buttocks.
Kojima announced his resignation on Thursday, a day after tearfully addressing reporters and mentioning his brother’s scolding.
He disputed some of the claims made in the independent committee’s report, including allegations of hugging female employees in front of others.
“I didn’t do it,” he said , explaining that his gestures may have looked like a hug, but were not.
“The report lacks neutrality and I want them to investigate more carefully,” the mayor said.
According to NHK, Kojima admitted to not reading the entire report, which alleged that he would tell subordinates to touch his hands, claiming they were “fair and smooth”.
The report also stated that he would roll up his trousers to show off his legs and make inappropriate remarks and demands, such as asking an employee to bend over.
Some workers even resorted to using disinfectant spray after being touched.
No criminal charges have been filed against Kojima, who will step down from his position on Tuesday.
The investigation was launched following reports in a weekly magazine, Shukan Bunshun.
The news quickly gained attention on social media, with many expressing anger towards Kojima’s actions.
One user wrote, “He shouldn’t be crying. It’s the employees who will want to cry.”
Another user suggested that if patting someone’s head is merely a form of communication, then it should also be done to older men.
During the investigation, the committee conducted a survey among 193 workers in Kojima’s municipality. Of the 161 respondents, approximately 53% of men and 58% of women stated that the mayor had done something that made them feel uncomfortable.
While the #MeToo movement has been slow to gain traction in Japan, a few high-profile cases have recently brought the issue to the forefront, forcing the country to confront the problem of sexual harassment.
( with input from agency)

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