Purple Hot Line for Women in Need for Consultation

Let us hear from you.

Purple Hot Line is a toll-free number you can call anytime, anywhere in case you need immediate help as a result of natural disaster, accident, violence, or at time you are faced with overwhelming difficulties or damages.


You will be connected to someone who will support you and will try to work out your problems together.

Women suffering from the following should call immediately: -

l  Receiving physical abuse such as DV, rape, and sexual harassment

l  Victims of disasters

(Calls from women who become victims of disasters will have priority. For those are receiving DV, sexual abuse, power harassments can speak with lawyers available to give free consultation)

l  Involved in child abuse

l  Need consultation on being a sexual minority

l  Non-Japanese women in any of the above situation can call on days and time listed below.

(Please refer to the following list for days and time for specified languages)

Tagalog                  Mon – Thurs       13:00-18:00

English                   Mon – Thurs       13:00-18:00

Thai                       Fri & Sat             13:00-18:00

Chinese                  Wed                   13:00-17:00

Korean                   Thurs                 13:00-17:00

Spanish                  Wed                  13:00-18:00

Specialized Consultation

l  Legal Matters           Tue & Thurs        10:00-17:00

l  Single Mother           Tue       10:00-21:00  /  Thurs    10:00-17:00

We promise you that you will be connected to a supporter!

“Things you hesitate to say face-to-face, we will say them for you”.

Please tell us about your worries and insecurities about specific needs, such as not getting items or the protection you need to feel safe.

If you need a separate tent as a changing room, street lights to feel safer at night, or whatever, we will try our best to contact the department/section in charge of crime prevention for them to deal with the problems.

Email address:  saigai@nwsnet.or.jp

Dealing with the Gender Equality Bureau of Great Eastern Japan Earthquake

l  Dealing with disaster based on the needs of women and childcare

l  For support of victims of Great Eastern Japan Earthquake based on the needs of women and childcare

You can see more on the following URL:  http://www.gender.go.jp/saigai.html

Organizer:         NPO National Women’s Net Shelter

Cooperator:       Japan Federation of Bar Associations

Supporter:         Cabinet Office / Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

Translated and adapted by M. Doioka

Keiko Fukuzawa’s Career Counseling

Ms. Fukuzawa provides career support and information not only to female college graduates freshly out of universities, but for women of all ages who are contemplating about changing jobs. If you would like to challenge a new career or restart your career, feel free to request a consultation. Your age and career background will not be mentioned.
The following is a message sent to Ms. Fukuzawa for consultation on February 21, 2012:

File #5: “The company doesn’t give female employees a chance to exert their skills and abilities, but the pay and benefits are good.”
The company I work for is a well-known large corporation in this region, but there is only 1 female in the managerial position, and of course, there is none on the board of directors. Women around me are not very concern about male dominancy in the workplace and the men in my company say, “Women prefer general office work and do not wish to have a management position.” I realize there are some women like that, but the overall stance of the company tends to limit the range of women’s work in general. There are women who are changing their work mentality to accept their role of “supporting men’s jobs.”
The other day, I expressed to my boss (a male in his 50’s) that I would like to have a more responsible job requiring overseas business trips. His response was, “Women’s job is to stay home and protect the family, and the chance for them to work under the same condition as men in our company is almost nil. Company is not a place for you to realize your desires.”
I have lived in the U.S. for 7 years, graduated from an American university, and have a score of 980 on TOEIC test, but these skills are completely wasted. My boss says I should change jobs if I want to realize my desires, but I am satisfied with my salary, I am married and I do not want to consider changing jobs. My feeling is to have a sense of job fulfillment. What shall I do?


It sounds typical of managers working for big corporations, but I’m surprised because not many companies these days can spare to “waste good human resources”. Also, since you are “satisfied” with your salary, you must be whizzing through your work without challenges and satisfaction.
In this case, why don’t you consider making a drastic choice? For instance, which would you choose – “a job that’s challenging and give you satisfaction with little pay” or “unchallenging job that gives you satisfied income”? You mentioned that you are not considering changing jobs, which means your choice is the latter. If so, the realistic solution for now is “not to pursue challenges through work”. If you don’t need to exert 100% of your time and energy into you work, you will have plenty of them for studies and human networking, wouldn’t you?
Your boss will someday leave his position, and when he does, that’s the time you can show your ability which you had built over the years. Why not start preparing for that day. You can sign up for some courses to learn something or acquire qualifications or assist colleagues at the office who is doing the type of work you are interested in doing. (You may not be able to go abroad on business, but volunteering to assist someone in that position may give you some satisfaction.)            

Most jobs in this time and age are, “challenging, but with low pay” or “unchallenging and with low pay”. At least your work situation of having “unchallenging job, but with satisfied pay” is actually quite fortunate. You can be saving up your money and learning new skills to prepare yourself for the future. Perhaps when you are in your mid-forties and if the company stance still remain the same, you have an option to use your acquired skills and knowledge to start your own business with the money saved up. In any case, I highly recommend that you save up your money for your future endeavor!


Keiko Fukuzawa – Journalist, Guest Professor at Showa Women’s University in “Career Development Theory”
While an undergrad in Waseda University’s Economic Department, created and published with other female students, career information magazine called “Our Career Notes.” After graduating, entered Asahi Newspaper as a journalist, and in 1990 became a freelance journalist. With “Women and Work” as the main theme, Fukuzawa published and lectured on how to find jobs, start up businesses, and provide career support. In 1998, she established Tact Planning with columnist, Maki Fukazawa.

2003~    Associate Professor at Tokyo Home Economic University’s Human/Culture    Research Institute

2007~   Guest Professor at Japan Women’s University

2010~   Guest Professor at Showa Women’s University in “Career Development Theory”

2011~   Executive Director of NPO Women Labor Association
Her specialized field, “Women and Career” counseling, ranges from finding jobs for freshly-out-of-college - to re-entering the workplace after a break (for child-rearing) - to finding a second career after retirement in something different from the first one.

http://wan.or.jp/help/career/       Online Counseling in Japanese only

Translated and adapted by M. Doioka

Above Career Counseling and Counseling for the Heart is part of Help WAN program which provides women with free online counseling, unfortunately, in Japanese only at this time.
Another online counseling offered is Legal Counseling which has not been translated. In addition, there are lists of Women’s Center, Feminist Counselors, and Lawyers which are listed according to the regions in Japan.


Counseling for the Heart

“Kiyomi’s Counseling Room” powered by Kiyomi Kawano (Feminist Counselor)
With the help of the new media known as the “web,” we are now able to seek counseling from Kiyomi merely by accessing her website from anywhere in the world. Your worries may be the same as those of other women without realizing it. With the use of the Internet, your distress can be shared and understood by other women.
Following is a message sent to Kiyomi for consultation on February 24, 2012:

File #18

“Desire to fill the loneliness of having a lack of parental care as a child”

I have no childhood memories of being cared for by my parents. I have 2 younger brothers and a sister. With a brother a year younger, my mother was too busy taking care of him and had no time for me even though I needed just as much attention and care. I had no choice but to do many things by myself, and I did them willingly to get recognition from my parents.

 Because of the way I was brought up, I was much more self-sufficient compared to other kids my age during my elementary school days, and I had a tendency to look after my classmates. They seemed less competent and I treated them as I did with my younger siblings. However, what was natural for my younger brothers and sister to do as I say, it sometimes created friction with my friends and often became a cause for uneasiness in human relationships.

I realized recently that I mind too much about others and that I need to keep a certain distance to balance the ship, but when I discovered how other people were raised with care and attention from their parents, I find myself deprived, lonely and insecure. How can people like me who were not raised with sufficient love and care from parents fill the emptiness in our heart?

Response from Kiyomi

You know yourself very well. It’s good to know that you’re not the type who says, “I go out of my way to do this for you.” Honestly.

Let’s break this problem into two parts. First part, how to find the right distance? This is a difficult problem. If you are too close to someone, for example, like 2 peas in a pod, then you will run into some problems or quarrels when you need to go separate ways. On the other hand, if you keep a far distance, it will not be possible to establish relationship of any kind. I’m sure you have heard that many youngsters these days avoid close relationship because it’s bothersome. In other words, this is a very complicated problem.

So, the problem of creating good human relationships has to do more with how children interacted with other children rather than how much they lacked attention from their parents. By experiencing successes and failures, and learning how to deal with them, we learn gradually how to deal with other people. Of course, the parents’ role to listen to us report proudly of our success and comforting us after experiencing failure has a large effect on us, but it doesn’t account for 100% of our learning.

Since you already know that you have tendency to have too close of a relationship with people, perhaps this is a good time for you to learn to change your ways. It’s never too late to learn. And maybe the reason you mind about others is because there’s a desire to hear people say, “Thank you.” You may already realize this yourself.

With respect to feeling insecure and lonely, does this mean loneliness as a result of failing to maintain a good human relationship? If so, why don’t you find someone to love and if someone tells you he loves you, why not accept his love? It’s easier said than done, I know.

I will be turning 73 soon. I feel assured of my parents’ love, I am fortunate to have a good job, health, and human relationships, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a sense of loneliness.

In any situation as human beings, we all live with desolation which doesn’t wash away with time, but it does have something to do with age, though.

What if there’s one person in this world who tells you he/she sincerely empathizes with you. Does it help? There’s a song sang and written by a French singer songwriter, Georges Moustaki, titled “Ma Solitude. He says he has spent many days crying of loneliness, but “solitude” was always there right beside him to comfort him and he was not alone, he was not lonesome. There’s a Japanese translation of the lyrics, so please try and listen to the song.


Kiyomi Kawano works as a counselor at Japan/U.S. Psychiatric Hospital and Family Service Center. She introduced the term, “Feminist Therapy” to Japan from the U.S. and become the first feminist counselor in 1970. In 1980 she formed a group in Tokyo to conduct feminist therapy which she named, “Nakama” (friends/mate/comrade) and has assisted in establishing feminist counseling rooms throughout Japan. As a pioneer of feminist counseling and an active practitioner, she is also a pioneer specialist in mother and daughter relationships.

At this time, consultation through email is only in Japanese and through the following website:  http://wan.or.jp/help/consultation/

Translated and adapted by M. Doioka


Interview with the director of Yellow Cake: The Dirt Behind Uranium

In the documentary film Yellow Cake: The Dirt Behind Uranium, German director Joachim Tschirner depicts how the production of uranium, the feedstock of nuclear power, causes radiation exposure and widespread harm. “Yellow cake” refers to uranium in its refined, powdery state that is used in both nuclear weapons and reactors. "By using uranium, you already have a hand in the crime,” he explains in his interview with writer Shin Yamaaki.

Photo by Shin Yamaaki
――What motivated you to create a movie about uranium mining?
I had some knowledge of the subject through my ten-year experience working in Thüringen in the former East Germany, where the uranium mining corporation Wismut was located. I thought I had something to say about it.

――Wismut was decommissioned in 1990. Did the nuclear incident at Chernobyl influence the discontinuation?
I believe there was some indirect influence. For example, in East Germany, where there hadn't existed any explicit environmental movements, the Chernobyl meltdown became an occasion for much accumulated anxiety to surface, eventually leading people to question the political leadership. However, the decommissioning of Wismut was a national project that coincided with the reunification of Germany. The miners and local residents in fact still had not been informed that the mined metal had been uranium, and of course had no knowledge of the dangers they had been exposed to. 

           © 2010 Um Welt Film Produktionsgesellschaft
――The film shows a variety of people in their respective relations to uranium mining: a Namibian miner who takes a meal in the midst of the powdery dust, the dangers of which he is unaware of, and a female miner who murmurs at home, “So many people get sick every month because of the filthy dust.” When asked if she knows how much radiation she has been exposed to, her silence as well as her facial expression are tragically eloquent. What was your message in the movie?
Nuclear issues tend to be considered only partially—nuclear weaponry, nuclear power, reprocessing, disposal—without a comprehensive picture. Also, the issue of mining has long been neglected and thus has deceived us. I wanted to alarm the world of such predisposed information.

――An Aborigine community in Australia first approved a particular mining operation, later realized its danger and, with support from specialists, prevented the development of another mine. This indeed reminds us, as said in your movie, “Ignorance cultivates the soil where lies flourish.” In your opinion, are the CEOs of the uranium mine ignorant or are they actually deceitful? Worse yet, are they knowing criminals? 
I think they seriously believe that the problems regarding uranium mining can be somehow managed and that it provides more economic benefits, such as employment, than it does harm. The CEOs are, in that sense, faithful to their professional duty, which is to work for the interests of stockholders and the cooperation. However, undoubtedly, they manipulate information. Such corporative attitudes are well-expressed in the words of a journalist from Uranium City, a Canadian equivalent of Wismut: “We cannot obtain the information that we need nor would we be able to decipher it if given any. Ultimately, we happily accept what is given to us by pro-nuclear agents.”

――Let us hear your message in light of the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The decommissioning of reactors is an emerging issue. In Lubmin, a town in Northern Germany, the decommissioning of a first-generation model nuclear plant has been going on for twenty years, but we still have no sense of how things will pan out. Meanwhile the cost accumulates year by year. In Japan too, who is going to bear the cost of reactor decommissioning that will be required in the near future? We should consider the nuclear issue facing the final phase of reactor decommissioning as well. That is my final message. 

Yellow Cake: The Dirt Behind Uranium
2005-2010, Germany
Distributed in Japan by Pandra
Currently showing at Shibuya Uplink (10:15, 12:30, 14:30, 18:40) and to be screened in Osaka Ciné Nouveau from February 18 and more.
* Please contact the above theaters for updated screening times. For screenings outside Tokyo, visit here (Japanese only).

Joachim Tschirner was born in 1946 in Wittenberge in the former East Germany. He studied Aesthetics and Cultural Theory at Humboldt University, Berlin, from 1970 to 1974 and worked as a film editor from 1975. He became a film director for the production company DEFA in 1980 and founded an independent film label, UM WELT FILM in 1991. His other documentaries include: Say: Heaven. Even When There's None (1984), Canto General: The Great Song of Pablo Neruda and Mikis Theodorakis (1983), At the End, the Concert (1985), A Small Piece of Germany (1991, with Klaus Salge & Lew Hohmann), Kein Abschied - nur fort (1991, with Lew Hohmann), Maxhuette-Cycle (1987-1991), On the Seventh Day Over the Syr Darja (1992-1995), Sieben Tage - Da unten am Indian River (1995), Tapping (1993-1997), and The Aral Sea - Where the Water Ends, the World Ends (1998).

Shin Yamaaki published her first book, Tamesareta Chihō Jichi (The Challenge of Grassroots Democracy: 13 Years of Suzu, a front-line city in a proxy war on Japanese nuclear politics) from Katsura Shobō in 2007, a reportage of the nuclear-development project in Suzu City, Ishikawa Prefecture, for which she was awarded the Yayori Journalist Award and the Peace and Cooperative Journalist Fund Arai Namiko Award. Her current project focuses on Iwaishima Island in the Seto Inland Sea, where she has spent more than 190 days intermittently and been involved with the people protesting the Kaminoseki Nuclear Development for thirty years. Click here for her blog in Japanese.

This article first appeared in a Japanese political magazine, Shūkan Kinyōbi No. 882 (Febrary 19, 2012) and is adapted and reprinted on the WAN website with approval from the publisher and the author. 

Original Article on the WAN Website (March 11, 2012)
Translated and adapted by Aya Kitamura


Book Review: From Fukushima to You, by Ruiko Muto

At the Goodbye to Nuclear Power Rally that attracted 60,000 people in Tokyo’s Meiji Park last September, one woman’s speech stirred the audience. The speaker was Ruiko Muto, a long-time devotee to anti-nuclear activism from Miharu Town, Fukushima. Her cogent words expressed the confused and conflicted feelings experienced by people in Fukushima since the earthquake of March 11, 2011, as well as their determination and hope to rise again. The powerful speech traveled all over the world via YouTube and Twitter, bringing tears to many eyes.

Her book, From Fukushima to You (Otsuki Shoten), includes Muto’s speech at the Rally and a newly written account of her life, along with photographs by photojournalist Takashi Morizumi. The simple prose poignantly describes her earlier struggles to live without nuclear power in the beautiful natural landscape of Fukushima and the profound sorrow caused by the radioactive pollution after the incident.

Muto now locates her hopes in women’s movements such as the Sit-in Protest of 100 Women Who Say No to Nuclear Power. “We can always unlock and leave the invisible cage we are trapped in,” she proclaims.

Yuho Asaka, an old friend of Muto and an activist/writer herself, contributes to the book as well.

Original article on the WAN Website written by Yui Iwashita (March 2, 2012)
Translated and Adapted by Aya Kitamura

Muto's speech at the Rally can be viewed here.