Who We Are
Voice Up Japan began in early 2019 when our founder Kazuna Yamamoto started a petition on change.org speaking up against a tabloid magazine article that ranked universities where girls are “easy to access” for sex. The petition garnered over 40,000 signatures in 4 days and prompted the magazine to issue an apology and release an article on sexual consent.
A few months later, alongside two other human rights groups, Voice Up Japan started a petition to push for legal reform of the law regarding sexual violence in Japan, after a father accused of sexually abusing his daughter was acquitted because she was a junior high school student. The petition asked for a revision of the penal code to make sex without consent a crime. In just a year’s time, it gathered almost 100,000 signatures.
In November 2019, we held a press conference that garnered both national and international attention. In the press conference we spoke about the troubling abundance of claims of sexual harassment of job seeking students in Japan. The press conference then triggered a widespread dialogue on Twitter, and gave many victims the courage to finally speak about their experience with harassment.
We were amazed by the attention our petitions and press conference received across Japan – and realized it revealed a deep desire within many in Japan to finally speak up about and fight against the gender discrimination and sexual violence that is still pervasive in society today.
Since then, Voice Up Japan has been invited by governmental officials, embassies, schools, and universities to speak about gender inequality, sexual violence, and the misogyny that is still commonplace in Japanese society. Aside from giving lectures and hosting events, Voice Up Japan also raises awareness through authoring articles, protesting, and creating community.
Our work has just begun. We will continue to do all that we can to build a more equal and welcoming society in Japan – a society where everyone feels safe to voice up.
President / Director
Director / Head of Journalism
Director / Head of Advocacy
Director / Head of Media
Director / Head of Organizational Dev.
Director / Head of Social Media
Public Relations / Social Media
Ingrid Komaki S.
Editor / Writer
C Sachi K.
Ayşe Haruka A.
Translation Team Leader
Voice Up Japan is proud to have student branches at universities across Japan. It’s our hope that motivating the youth of Japan at the grassroots level will spur generational change towards a more equal society.