Monday, August 16, 2010

Total victory in lawsuit over sexual harassment against female SDF official – Supported by various unions

“The defendant should pay 5.8 million yen to the plaintiff”. I cried with joy when I heard the chief judge give the verdict. This lawsuit is the first in Japan to sue the state over sexual harassment committed to an in-service female Air Self Defense Force official by her superior, who lived in a dormitory of an ASDF base three years ago at the age of 20. The plaintiff fought out the battle, surrounded by “enemies”. Even though she was isolated in the base, she was supported by a group of reliable lawyers and conscientious people outside the gate. Trade unions also supported her regardless of their differences as national centers. On July 29, 2010, Chief Justice Hashizume Hitoshi of the Sapporo District Court rendered an epoch-making decision that becomes a leading case for sexual harassment issues also in private companies. (Suzuki, Sapporo General Union)
* Photo: Sato Hirofumi, Hideshima Yukari and Kobayashi Yuki from left to right, group of lawyers

「主文、被告は原告に対し580万円を支払え」裁判長の声が響いた瞬間、私の涙腺が緩んだ。これは今から3年前、航空自衛隊の某基地に住み込みで勤務する原職の女性自衛官(当事20歳)が、上官から受けたセクハラ被害(性的暴行)について、国を訴えた全国初の裁判です。原告女性は、周りを「敵」に囲まれたまま、この裁判を最後まで闘い貫きました。基地の中では孤立させられても、基地の外には頼もしい弁護団、そして心優しい支援者がいたのです。労働組合もナショナルセンターの枠を超えて支援しました。そして7月29日札幌地裁(橋詰均裁判長)は、一般の民間企業のセクハラ問題に際してもリーディングケースとなる、画期的な判決を下しました。(札幌地域労組・鈴木)  *写真=左から弁護団の佐藤博文・秀嶋ゆかり・小林由紀の各氏

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