Mainichi says Japan's Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa has apologized for calling women "birth-giving machines." He now thinks the description was "too uncivil," and has retracted the remarks. Yanagisawa made the gaffe while giving a speech on Japan's declining birthrate on Saturday. His quirky comment was also picked up by the BBC.
Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party, called Sunday for Yanagisawa to step down.
"I demand the resignation of the welfare minister because he made awful remarks that he should have never made," she said. Fukushima is currently the only female leader among the major parties.
She told The Asahi Shimbun that women are not merely machines for producing future sources of revenue for the pension program.
"Yanagisawa's remarks were tantamount to telling women to give birth for the nation," Fukushima said.
Yukio Hatoyama, secretary-general of the main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), said the remarks insulted women.
"I feel great anger. (Yanagisawa) should take the blame as welfare minister for failing to create an environment that enables women to give birth and bring up children," Hatoyama said.
Blogs I Like
- Ad B: Japan Navigator
- Adventures of a (Swedish) Salariman in Tokyo
- Amy: Blue Lotus
- Boing Boing: Wonderful Things
- Brendan: UNU OurWorld 2.0
- Hiroko & Rick: Itadakimasu
- Jared B: Tokyo Green Space
- Joan: Popcorn Homestead
- Jon: Toshogu or As I See Japan... From L.A.
- Justin B: The Rational Pessimist (Climate & Risk)
- Kat: Food Adventures in Japan
- Ken: KenElwood in semi-rural Japan
- Mari: Watashi to Tokyo
- MTC: Shisaku
- Otakimura: In The Pines
- P: Pacific Islander
- Peko Peko: Kyoto Foodie
- Richard H: Spike Japan
- Risa & Kirk: Savory Japan
- Robert: Pure Land Mountain
- Shizuoka Gourmet
- Ten Thousand Things
- Tom: Kitchen Garden in Japan
Links I Like
- News: About Sweden in English
- News: BBC
- News: Der Spiegel (Germany) in English
- News: Deutche Welle
- News: FT Asia (UK, EU)
- News: Kyoto Journal (Japan)
- News: NHK World Society & Others (Japan)
- News: People's Daily (China)
- News: Telegraph (UK)
- News: The Local (Sweden)
- News: Yomiuri Online (Japan)
- News: Yonhap (Korea)
- NGOs/News: Organic Consumers Association (US)
- NGOs: Amnesty
- NGOs: Consumers Union (US) Food
- NGOs: Consumers Union of Japan
- NGOs: Greenpeace
- NGOs: Greenz.jp
- NGOs: Japan for Sustainability
- NGOs: Japan Organic Agriculture Association
- NGOs: Japan Vegetarian Society
- Shops: Alishan Organic Center
- Shops: Eco to Waza (GreenJapan)
- Shops: Warabe Mura
- Stuff: Japan Probe