#MeToo is also a thing in other countries:South Korean Presidential Prospect Quits Over #MeToo Rape Claims
A promising politician who had ambitions of becoming South Korea’s next president resigned Tuesday after his secretary accused him of raping her.
Ahn Hee-jung, 52, the governor of South Chungcheong province who last year was runner-up against Moon Jae-in to become the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, has become the latest high-profile figure to fall in the #MeToo movement quickly spreading across the male-dominated society.
His departure came a day after the secretary, Kim Ji-eun, made the accusation on a TV news show. She told local cable channel JTBC late Monday that Ahn raped her four times over the past eight months. While Ahn hasn’t explicitly confirmed or denied the allegations, the police are investigating.
“The governor called me in late at night recently and looked uneasy when he brought up the #MeToo movement issue. He said he learned from the movement that what he did hurt me and apologized,” Kim told the program. “I thought he wouldn’t do it that night, but he did it again. It was Feb. 25.”
While Ahn’s office initially said he had consensual sexual relations with Kim, Ahn himself later characterized that explanation as “faulty.” The politician said in a Facebook post that he was responsible and was sorry for the pain his “foolish behavior” had caused Kim. He said he would resign from the post he has served in for more than seven years and suspended all political activities.
The fall of Ahn, a politician who had been seen by analysts as a strong candidate to take over from Moon after his five-year term ends in 2022, comes three months before the president’s first electoral test in polls to pick local governors and mayors. The scandal may come to bite Moon, who has urged stronger action against a growing number of sexual abuse cases in the country.
In Japan:#MeToo May Have Finally Reached Corporate Japan
Food exec made sexually explicit remarks to an airline worker
NH Foods president, present during the exchange, steps down
The #MeToo movement may have finally made its way to corporate Japan, as the president of a blue chip company resigned after a subordinate he was travelling with made sexually explicit remarks to an airline employee.
The junior executive from NH Foods Ltd., a Nikkei 225-listed company with more than 15,000 workers, resigned last month, as did President Juichi Suezawa. Suezawa was present at an exchange between the subordinate and an airline worker at Haneda airport in October, and while he was not directly involved, local media linked his resignation to complaints over the comments.
The junior executive, who had been drinking, is said to have asked the airline employee explicit questions about her sex life at an airport lounge, according to media reports. She reported the remarks to her superior, which led to the airline filing a complaint to NH Foods.
Osaka-based NH Foods is a household name in Japan as a maker of bacon and sausages, as well as the owner of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, the baseball team where Shohei Otani and Yu Darvish rose to fame. Suezawa’s resignation in January was attributed to "personal reasons," with the background only coming to light after a local magazine report last week.
A spokesman at the company, who declined to be identified citing internal policy, said that the executive made inappropriate comments, and that Suezawa was present but didn’t partake in the exchange. The spokesman denounced the remarks, calling them "very regrettable" and "offensive" to women, though he wouldn’t elaborate on the contents of the exchange. The spokesman also wouldn’t comment on the resignations beyond the Jan. 29 statement, and didn’t identify the junior executive or the airline.
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