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12/26 (English Event) NFSJ Café #29 “Let’s Learn about New/Revised Laws on Protection of Women in Japan”

NFSJ Café #29
“Let’s Learn about New/Revised Laws on Protection of Women in Japan”

This year we have seen the passage of several laws and amendments to laws related to support and protection of women in Japan. Some of these laws were passed in response to longstanding requests by women’s support groups, while others were enacted as a result of swift action by support groups and lawmakers who shared a sense of crisis triggered by a certain event.

NFSJ staff members have conducted research on these movements, which even Japanese speakers have difficulty in understanding, and will share them with English speakers interested in this issue.

This event will be held with the hope that everyone will learn about this important legal change concerning women that has finally begun to take place in Japan, and that they will be able to support the people and organizations that are involved in this important change. Please join us even though it is a busy time at the end of the year.

《Date&Time》Mon. Dec. 26, 2022, 19:00-20:30

《Venue》Online (Zoom)

《Admission》 Free *Reservation required


《Reservation》Use the link below to fill in the reservation form.
We will send the Zoom link to your email address 2 hours prior to the event.

“Adult Video Appearance Damage Prevention and Relief Act”
“New Law to Support Women in Need”
“Amendments to the Criminal Code” including Raising the Age of Sexual Consent
Q&A, discussion

《Speakers》NFSJ Staff members

Sponsored by Not For Sale Japan, which works on issues of human trafficking and modern slavery, NFSJ Café is a casual learning experience where interested participants and NFSJ staff talk about a theme or watch a film over a cup of tea. Please feel free to join us.

Flyer download20221226 NFSJ Cafe #29 Flyer (E)

NFSJ World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Campaign 2022: Looking Back at NFSJ Cafes (July 30 – August 30, 2022)

To commemorate World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on July 30, NFSJ conducts an annual online awareness campaign.

This year, out of the 28 NFSJ Cafés that have been held so far, we selected the most memorable sessions and seven staff members created short report articles. In the past month, we have posted 10 articles on our website and shared them on social media.

Looking Back at NFSJ Cafés

NFSJ Cafes have covered all aspects of human trafficking and modern slavery, or the various issues that exist around it. The topics covered in these reports range from Kabukicho night patrols and Dogenzaka night walks, to LGBT and immigration issues, to sex industry and sexual consent, and connections to industries such as mining and seafood.

If any of the topics caught your interest, please read on.

*The Reason Why We Hold NFSJ Cafes

*The list of past NFSJ Cafe:

Vol.10 “The Issue of “Sexual Consent” at the Root of Everything: Thoughts from the Front Lines of Supporting Victims of Sexual Exploitation”

(NFSJ Café #24, June 23, 2021, Held online)
Guest lecturers: Ms. Megumi Oka (a counselor at the NPO PAPS)

NPO PAPS is a member of JNATIP (Japan Network Against Trafficking in Persons), of which NFSJ is a member, and Ms. Oka is a member of its steering committee. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to assist Ms. Oka in her preparations for a meeting with the Japanese Government and JNATIP.  At the time, Ms. Oka murmured, “Anyway, sexual consent is the root of sexual exploitation,” which led to the realization of this NFSJ Café.

From the very beginning of the lecture, key words like “self-determination of the body,” “boundary” and “sexual consent” came up. Both children and adults have the right to “body self-determination,” or how to treat their own bodies. She explained that we can also decide the distance and boundaries between ourselves and others as we see fit.

There are also “private zones,” which we do not show to others or allow them to touch, and if someone tries to, it is OK to say “No!”  in a clear voice. Many of the victims who consult with PAPS are unaware of these rules.

During the discussion time, participants said, “We were not taught these things either” and “This is a basic problem that needs to be addressed before sex education. It is important to teach children how to take care of their own bodies from an early age.”

The key points I understood regarding sexual consent are:
– Sexual consent is possible only in a relationship of equals. It is difficult to be established under unbalanced power relationships, such as parent-child, teacher-student, etc. In situations like adult video performances, where there is a contractual relationship or where money is paid, there is no sexual consent because the relationship is unequal.

– Sexual consent should be confirmed every time. Even if you consented in the past, you can say no if you don’t want to now, and your will should be respected. In photography and videography, it is necessary to confirm the consent of the photographer and the subject, not only at the time of shooting but also at the time of viewing. However, since this is almost impossible in reality, sexual consent is not possible with images, videos, etc.

It made sense to me.

In other words, in commercial as well as private filming, sexual images and videos do not constitute sexual consent in the first place. In order to create a society where people are not sexually exploited, this concept of sexual consent must be widely known. It is necessary to have the common sense that whoever says “no” must always be respected.

Another thing that impressed me was the importance of what kind of message society sends to the younger generation on a daily basis. The social tendency to emphasize self-responsibility makes victims think that it is their own fault, and makes it difficult for them to ask for help.

You are definitely not to be blamed. Whenever you realized, “I really didn’t like it! ” you can ask for help.  It doesn’t matter if you were paid for it. Talk to us first!

This is the message we at NFSJ want to send out.
(Nozomi Kuriyama)

*NPO “PAPS” website

*Enforcement of the AV Appearance Victimization Prevention and Relief Act (June, 2022)

*For more information on Ms. Oka’s profile, refer to the NFSJ Cafe #24 announcement page.

Vol.9 “Detention Center Visitation: Reality of Immigrants in Japan”

(NFSJ Café #21, August 6, 2020 Held online)
Guest lecturers: Mr. Alex Easley (Leader of the Detention Ministry at Tokyo Baptist Church)
and Mr. Thomas Ash (journalist, film-maker, St. Alban’s Church member)

Before COVID-19, many foreigners came to Japan for various reasons, including to earn money to send back to their families. With the aging workforce in Japan, they have been invaluable and support the Japanese economy. Still others are refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing political or other persecution. Some members of both groups have been unfairly detained in Immigration Detention Centers throughout the country, sometimes enduring inhumane treatment.

Migrant workers and refugees are vulnerable to human rights violations and are closely linked to Human Trafficking.

So I was privileged to facilitate this cafe where we heard from Mr. Alex Easley and Mr. Thomas Ash who have spent years going to centers to visit and support these detainees.

We learned that they are allowed to visit and talk to men for 30 min. at a time, sometimes seeing up to 5 people a day. (I went once to Shinagawa’s Center and visited 2 women). Each detainee has a different story, so they listen, ask what they can bring the next time, and show/share the love of Jesus with them.

Often there were heart-wrenching stories about why they were detained, the bad conditions, the loneliness, etc.. All the cafe participants were impressed with their dedication to support these men who’ve been affected by unfair immigration policies.

Thomas has made a documentary currently being shown throughout Japan called “Ushiku”. “Based on interviews with foreign nationals detained for long periods of time at the immigration center in Ushiku City, Ibaraki Prefecture, this film reveals the violation of human rights by the authorities.” (Quoted from synopsis from Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival 2021)

I highly recommend you watch the trailer and write-up, and then see it!

It will show in Tokyo again from Sept. 9th.

(Bonnie Jinmon)

The NFSJ Cafe #21 announcement

Vol.8 ““Slavery in the Ocean” and Japan: Is this fish I’m eating slave-free?”

(NFSJ Café #28, May 27, 2022 online)
Guest lecturer:
Ms. Anju Kozono (Business and human rights coordinator at Human Rights Now)

At the 28th NFSJ Café, we had Ms.Anju Kozono from Human Rights Now come and discuss with us about the realities of slavery in the fishing industry and Japan’s stance in relation to the Illegal, Unregulated, and Unreported (IUU) fishing industry.

We held this event online, prior to Japan’s first showing of Ghost Fleet (2018), which is a documentary that follows Thai activists in their work to bring home those who are stuck at sea. Many workers are recruited from rural parts of their country, only to be placed under harsh working conditions as fishermen. Ms. Kozono explained how Japan may be contributing to this industry, largely unknowingly, by purchasing and consuming fish from the IUU fishing industry.

Japan is a large consumer of fish, both domestically and internationally, as traditionally people would eat fish at least once a day. However, the dark industry behind some of the products remains highly unknown. Ms. Kozono explained that Japan is the 3rd largest importer of seafood, and unfortunately, 24~36% of those fish are purchased from the IUU fishing industry. Most of the participants were very surprised by this statistic, and even more alarmed by the fact that the fish are being sold in the supermarkets in as processed fish and other products.

Certain countries and organizations have put laws and restrictions in place to help ensure legal practices within their regions or contributing countries, such as the European Union (EU) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). Japan is a part of an agreement made by the FAO, the Port State Major Agreement (PSMA), and uses the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certifications as well. These laws help protect the human rights of those stuck as laborers, often harassed and forced to work for little to no pay, and ensure that more businesses and individuals are more aware of where their fish come from.

Ms. Kozono gave us several ideas for combating slavery in the fishing industry from Japan, which include getting educated on the situation in Japan, raising awareness about this issue, and finding and supporting organizations that fight against illegal fishing and slavery at sea.
(Meg Wilson)

-For more information on IUU fishing (Report by Human Rights Now)

-Ghost Fleet Official Trailer

Vol.7 “Views of Two Foreign Students on Japan’s Sex Industry ~ Screening of the Documentary “Beyond the Yellow Line”~

(NFSJ Café #17, June 13, 2019 at Musashino Place)
Guest lecturers:
Ms. Hanako Montgomery Ogawa and
Ms. Tess Rizzoli (Sophia University students at the time)

This NFSJ Café was held at Musashino Place for the screening of the documentary “Beyond the Yellow Line”. The filmmakers, Ms. Hanako Montgomery Ogawa and Ms. Tess Rizzoli, were our guest speakers. During the Q&A session after the screening, they informed the audience about prostitution and other sexual customs in the U.S. and Italy. I think the participants had a very meaningful time exchanging opinions about their confusion and awareness of these issues.

The film screened consisted of interviews conducted in Kabukicho and other areas of the sex industry. Each one of the interviewees answered the questions posed by the foreign students in a carefree manner, as if trying to justify their actions. I was impressed by this, but I was sure it was because these were research interviews with young foreign women. This would not be the case with Japanese women. Their sense of caution and embarrassment would have prevented them from answering the questions in such a direct manner. Everyone understands the embarrassing parts of their culture, and even themselves. If possible, they would not want those embarrassing parts discussed.

In the discussion following the screening, one participant asked, “If Not For Sale Japan shows a film that only shows the reality of sexual customs, does that mean that they endorse this kind of sex work?” However, an audience member who is making efforts to rescue victims of sex trafficking said, “The worst thing about this kind of sex industry issue is indifference. Indifference is not just a denial, but rather an affirmation”.

The film shows the naked reality of people in Japanese sex industry, which could only be realized by capturing the perspectives of foreign students. I hope you will watch this film, which is available on YouTube for anyone to see. Let’s not also be indifferent about this issue!
(Michiyo Namura)

Beyond the Yellow Line (Watch the Film on YouTube)

For more information on the guest speakers (as of the time of the event)