Letters to the Editor,
The Daily Yomiuri,
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-8243
In “Abused receptionist to get compensation” (May 7, 2011) about a Kobe city worker who was harassed into mental illness by repeated encounters with an abusive male customer in August 2008, I was surprised to learn that the perpetrator was actually not her own male supervisor - a situation that has a more familiar ring in Japan. The story was about the woman’s success in having her depression and post-traumatic stress officially recognized and compensated by the Fund for Local Government Employees’ Accident Compensation, as if that alone was a singularly remarkable accomplishment. Unfortunately, it is a singularly remarkable accomplishment to have one’s legitimate work-related, or work-induced health problems recognized and compensated.
But I think the story ought to have been about the arrest and prosecution of the abusive male customer for harassment, or psychological assault. Recognition of one’s work-related health problems should be automatic, a non-story. But again, unfortunately, such is not the case. Pursuing and prosecuting the abusive customer would be for the good not only of social justice but of public education as well. If people do not learn proper behavior as children, then they can at lest be punished for it as adults.