Mich: The prohibition of indirect discrimination in Japan

CHAIRE HOOVER Louvain-La-Neuve

20 février 2018

14h00 - 15h15


Place Montesquieu 3 D305

Michela Riminucci, (Kobe University)

In 2003, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women expressed its concerns about the persistence of many inequalities between women and men in Japan, especially in terms of wages. Among the possible causes, the so-called two-track employment management system and the lack of understanding on indirect discrimination were mentioned.

In order to solve the problem at its source, the prohibition of indirect discrimination was codified in 2006 as Article 7 of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, following a comparative research on foreign legislation that included the European Union. However, the Japanese legal definition of indirect discrimination has later been criticized by scholars and by the abovementioned UN Committee as being too narrow and, all in all, insufficient.

In this lunch seminar, Michela Riminucci (Project Associate Professor in Kobe University) will introduce two relatively recent decisions by the Osaka High Court and the Nagoya District Court that showed some progress on the issue of indirect discrimination. At the same time, the Japanese legal definition of indirect discrimination will be analyzed in comparison with the relevant EU legislation. Finally, some considerations on the fairness of the two-track system and similar kinds of occupational segregation patterns will be expressed.