NIG Harassment Prevention Measures

◎Harassment - Violation of human rights

Harassment is to practically and mentally inflict prejudice or damage or to impair the working environment by inappropriate behavior for the recipient. It may occur if one person has higher status, position, or power than the other in relationships between teacher and student, boss and subordinate, and man and woman (or same sex).
Harassment is categorized into the following types. In reality, it often happens that one harassment occurs in combination with others.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual behaviors (words and actions) which make persons feel uncomfortable

[Examples of saying something sexual]
  1. Words arising from sexual interest or sexual desire:
    – Bringing up the topic regarding physical features (e.g., asking for someone’s measurements)
    – Spreading sexual rumors, mocking sexually
    – Saying such words as “You are on your period, aren’t you?” “You are already at the age menopause, aren’t you?” to a woman who looks unwell
  2. Words arising from the sense of gender discrimination:
    – Saying such words as “You have no guts although you are a man” “I cannot entrust any work to women”
    – Calling colleagues in a way showing no respect for personalities. (e.g.) “Boy” “Girl” “Old Man” “Old Woman”
[Examples of sexual behaviors]
  1. Actions arising from sexual interest or sexual desire:
    – Staring at someone up and down
    – Trying persistently to ask someone on a date/dinner
    – Unnecessarily making contact with someone’s body
    – Forcing sexual relations
    – Giving a call, wiring a letter or emailing with regard to sexual content
  2. Actions arising from the sense of gender discrimination:
    – Forcing to serve tea at the office, clean up the office or help handling (superiors’) personal affairs just because she is a female staff member
    – Making female staff members sit beside the superiors at a drinking party and forcing them to pour drinks for the superiors, to dance cheek-to-cheek, etc.

Academic Harassment

Harassment from persons with authority or in higher position in educational and research environment


– Actions of persons in higher position (such as professors and associate professors) towards subordinates
e.g., obstruction of research activities / promotion discrimination / suggestion of retirement
– Actions towards students
e.g., maliciously suggesting that a student should withdraw from school or should repeat the same school year / refusing to give guidance / preventing a student from passing the thesis (dissertation) review (impeding a student from achieving the degree)
– Arbitrary discrimination against particular students / imposing unnecessarily tough guidance on particular students
– Giving no recognition to what someone has done and repeating “You are absolutely incapable”, etc.

Alcohol Related Harassment

Harassment due to misuse of authority while drinking


– Forcing someone to drink alcohol
– Forcing chug-a-lug
– Drinking someone down
– Teasing and insulting those who cannot drink
– Annoying behaviors from the drunk people (such as messing with someone, playing a prank, shouting abusive language, conducting violence, and sexual harassment) 

Power Harassment

Abuse of authority beyond the scope of one’s business and continuous conduct to deny someone’s dignity, which worsens employees’ working conditions or causes anxiety about losing a job


– Not assigning work to a particular staff member, though no apparent mistakes have been made by him/her
– Unreasonably downgrading assessment of a particular staff member
– Inspiring fears by banging on the desk and shouting in a loud voice every time someone makes a mistake.
– Threatening someone with “termination” or “demotion”
– Forcing to set an unachievable goal and leading to a stressful situation

To prevent harassment

– Recognize that the way of thinking and feeling varies from individual to individual.
(Be sensitive to what individuals feel unpleasant.)
– It is wrong to regard the gender gap as a dominance gap.
– Be sensitive to relationships and situations around you.
– Be aware that offensive behaviors cannot be justified as an expression of inoffensive greetings or behaviors.
– If you are not sure whether your behavior is harassment or not, imagine how you would feel if one of your family members is victimized by harassment.
– It is sometimes difficult to say no to a superior who has high social status or power. Even if a person doesn’t make his/her intention clear, do not take that as an agreement.
– Do not regard a person who raises the issue of harassment as a troublemaker or treat the issue as a personal matter.

If being victimized by harassment

– Have the courage to say “No”.
Clearly show your feeling of discomfort in words and attitudes to the harasser even if he/she is your boss or superior.
– Do not blame yourself or restrain yourself.
You don’t have to feel “I am wrong” or “It can’t be helped because I didn’t say no.”
– Record the situation.
Make a note of the situation (by whom, when, where, how, with whom, etc.)
– Consult with someone you can trust.
Do not struggle alone but consult with your colleagues or friends.

If witnessing harassment

Warn the harasser immediately.
– Provide consultation for the victim and be his/her emotional support.
– Encourage the victim to consult with a counselor and witness the harassment as necessary.
– Recognizing the trust of the victim, refrain from talking about the harassment to other people.

If still having trouble…

– Consult with counselors in NIG.
– Counselors will confirm the fact and take specific actions.
– Counselors maintain the confidentiality of information obtained, respecting the privacy, privilege, and human rights of the consulter.
(Prepare a memo of the date and content of the harassment for counseling.)


Rules Regarding the Prevention, Etc. of Harassment National Institute of Genetics Research Organization of Information and Systems


Name and E-mail address 

Harassment Comment Form

To the members of the National Institute of Genetics:

NIG is dedicated to solving the problem of harassment in the institute and creating a better work and study environment, where everyone can feel comfortable. For this purpose, NIG appoints harassment counsellors with whom you can consult when you feel you are harassed, or you hear/see someone is harassed (The counsellors’ names are listed on our website).

Meanwhile, we also think that it is important to notice potential incidents of harassment before they develop into serious situations. In such cases, we may prevent harassment by calling attention to the entire institute, or by giving advice to the potential harasser. For this reason, NIG Harassment Prevention and Countermeasures Committee have decided to install a harassment comment form where you can post your message anonymously or with your name.

The Committee promises to maintain the confidentiality (even if the name is given). The will of the posted person will be fully respected. Only the chair of the committee reads the posted message. The chair will consult a few other members of the committee, excluding potential stakeholders, to prevent or solve the harassment.

If you have any other problems related to harassment, please let us know. We may not be able to solve everything, but we promise to do our best toward improvement.

Professor Tatsumi Hirata

Harassment Comment Form 
*Please note that only NIG members can access the Harassment Comment Form.

  • Twitter
  • facebook
  • youtube