PERSONAL NOTE: Japan is going through many social problems…now it is men reporting women for the violence. Something is going on in Japan, with all the social problems affecting the society…from men who isolate themselves or those who choose not meet the females, etc…what is going on in Japan today? Steve, peace, usa, june 23, 2019 firstname.lastname@example.org https://getting2knowyou-china.com
Domestic abuse soars in Japan, and it’s men reporting women for the violence
• The number of male complaints of domestic violence increase eight-fold in four years, but a recent survey suggests figures may be far higher
22 Jun, 2019 Julian Ryall SCMP
Japanese businessmen cross a road in Tokyo. Reports of abuse against men by their female partners have skyrocketed in Japan. Photo: AFP
After decades of being perceived by many Japanese men as second-class citizens who are good for little more than cooking, cleaning and bearing children, women here are fighting back. And they are not pulling any punches.
On May 31, police in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, arrested 44-year-old Mika Masaoka on suspicion of murdering her husband, Kenichi. Masaoka told police that she lost her temper during an argument and stabbed him in the neck and chest with a kitchen knife.
In March, 43-year-old woman was arrested in the Tokyo suburb of Machida and charged with drugging her boyfriend and then stabbing him at least 10 times. Chinatsu Sato told police she was unhappy in her relationship with Tomio Arashi and had been planning to kill him for about a week.
That same month, a 65-year-old woman from Osaka Prefecture was charged with murder after she smothered her husband early one morning. Yoshiko Imaguchi said she killed her husband, Mitsuaki, 74, because she was stressed by his incessant complaining.
An elderly woman walks in Akita prefecture, northern Japan. There has been a string of murders of Japanese men in recent months by their long-time wives. Photo: Reuters
As regular and violent as the above cases are, they represent only a fraction of a much wider, but perhaps less visible trend. Reports of women getting violent or abusing men have skyrocketed in Japan in recent years, with experts suggesting economic decline and a “calm and gentle” male culture shift may be driving the animosity.
In 2014, 181 domestic violence complaints were filed by men in Japan, according to the National Police Agency. Last year, that figure soared to 1,571 complaints.
But the real figure could be far higher, as most incidents are not reported to the authorities, according to Cabinet Office statistics.
In 2017, 14.5 per cent of 5,000 Japanese men who replied to a study said they had been on the receiving end of domestic violence, up from 10.8 per cent in 2014 and 8.1 per cent in 2002.
Those figures are still significantly lower than violence inflicted on women by their male partners. But reports by men are rising steeply while those from women appear to be constantly very high – 33.2 per cent in 2008, 32.9 per cent in 2011 and 31.3 per cent in 2017, according to the Cabinet Office.
Japanese society has changed a lot in recent years and young men today are more calm and gentle than in the pastTomoko Suga
Asked why they had not reported their cases to police, most men said it was not serious enough to warrant seeking help, while others thought there would be little point in asking for help or that they were “partly to blame” for the incident.
“A lot of these cases seem to involve couples in their 40s and 50s, and that would be the generation that had such a good time as youngsters during the years of Japan’s ‘bubble economy’,” said Makoto Watanabe, an associate professor of media and communications at Hokkaido Bunkyo University.
“These are the people who had money, were not slow to spend it, travelled and were free,” he said. “And that generation of Japanese women were the first to have those opportunities and maybe they assumed that the fun would go on just the same after they got married.”
Japan’s well-documented economic problems of the last quarter-century meant the good times came to a grinding halt for many, Watanabe said, and those women are now middle-aged with less money and less exciting marriages.
“They’re frustrated with their lives,” Watanabe said. “They had a lot of fun in the past and their lives now just are not as exciting.”
And that, he believes, is bubbling over into resentment towards their husbands.
Tomoko Suga, a professor at Rakuno Gakuen University in Hokkaido, has studied trends in domestic violence for two decades and says it is clear that Japanese men are becoming “more calm and gentle” and, simultaneously, less shy about seeking help. Meanwhile women are continuing their fight for rights in the workplace and equality in society in general.
“Japanese society has changed a lot in recent years and young men today are more calm and gentle than in the past,” she said.
That assessment resonates with the emergence of “herbivorous men” in Japan; individuals who are content with their lot in life and do not seek a female partner or advancement at work.
The term was coined to contrast this generation with previous generations of go-getters who were credited with rebuilding Japan after the war and who worked and played hard.
“I also think that men in the past did not want to talk about being the target of domestic violence because it was embarrassing, but also because there was no help available to them,” Suga said.
“Now we see coverage on the television and in the papers and they know that they can report these cases to the authorities and that they can get help,” she said.