The Tokyo city government is setting up funds to pay legal fees in lawsuits filed by women who were sexually harassed or victims of domestic violence.
Each defendant will be eligible for up to $4,300, which they will pay back from the compensation they receive if they win their case. In applying for these funds, women must prove their case stands a chance of winning in court and that they are financially needy. Also, they must work, live or be students in Tokyo.
This is significant progress for Japan, which has only recently begun to address issues of violence against women. Mizuho Fukushima, a lawyer and legislator, commented, “I have seen many victims who had to give up suing because they didn’t have the money. The fund is welcome news for such victims.”