TOKYO, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Finance Ministry on Wednesday held seminars for its senior officials aimed at preventing sexual harassment following the recent resignation of the ministry's top bureaucrat over sexual harassment claims.
In an unprecedented move by the heavily-under-fire ministry, around 80 senior level officials as well as the ministry's own consultants who are in charge of counseling for employees on sexual harassment, attended the seminars.
Part of the training program included lectures by a female lawyer, Takako Sugaya, who is an expert on cases of sexual harassment.
Sugaya made it known to the participants of the training course that the way the public currently feel about the Finance Ministry following its widely publicized sexual harassment case is far more disappointed and distrustful than those within the ministry seem to comprehend.
She also urged those in attendance to have a sense of responsibility and ownership to prevent such cases from happening again in the future.
"Sexual harassment could become a case in which criminal responsibility will be sought. Judging from media reports, I have become doubtful of earlier excuses by the perpetrator and responses by the ministry," the lawyer was quoted as telling the attendees.
Japan's Administrative Vice Finance Minister Junichi Fukuda stepped down last month amid allegations he sexually harassed female reporters.
Fukuda's resignation came less than a year after he took on the role as the ministry's top bureaucrat and at a time when the ministry has been under fire for a number of improprieties, including a cronyism scandal implicating Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.