This Thursday, February 15th, TUJ will be hosting a lecture and Q/A with Machiko Osawa on her new book, Towards a Society Where You Can Say “Help” – Sexual Violence and Gender Inequality in Japan.  I have attached the event’s poster and a shorter-form article Prof. Osawa wrote for The Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. 

Event Title:  “Towards a Society Where You Can Say “Help” – Sexual Violence and Gender Inequality in Japan”

Date: Thursday, February 15

Time: Noon – 1:30pm (JST)

Location: Zoom and Limited In-Person (at TUJ), Registration Required


  • Machiko Osawa (Professor of Economics at Japan Women’s University)

Overview: There have been 2 laws passed in 2023 on rape and DV that mark significant change in how the state is handling these significant problems in Japan. Now all non-consensual sex is regarded as a criminal act. Previously – unless the victim resisted – it was difficult to convict the perpetrator. Another law changes policies regarding DV and sex abuse and mandates greater state support for victims. Over the past 20 years there have been significant policy changes to address this hidden scourge of sexual violence as civil society and the mass media pressure the government to act.

For this ICAS lecture, Machiko Osawa will give a talk about her book, which examines how NPOs played a significant role in lobbying for revisions of the DV law as well as establishing a one stop center for the victims of sexual abuse. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data, her study highlights how pervasive DV and sexual abuse is in Japan. At the session, it will also be discussed whether it is necessary to change the mindset and institutionalization of a patriarchal system and shift in order to reduce DV and sexual violence in Japan.

Event Information and Registration Link: