Photo: Pakutaso (Edited by SoraNews24)
lifestyle

Kofu City official gives speech telling new employees to 'play around' to fix birth rate issue

21 Comments
By Scott Wilson, SoraNews24

Japanese upper management has been on a hot streak recently of saying embarrassingly ignorant things, especially concerning the Olympics and celebrities participating in the festivities.

So it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise when we get another one, this time concerning Japan’s declining birthrate. The government has been attempting to alleviate that issue for years now, trying everything from not enough to potentially too much.

However, Kazuhiko Shimura, the manager of Kofu City’s industry department in Yamanashi Prefecture recently gave a speech about a different strategy: just have men and women play around more.

The speech was given during a welcoming ceremony to new hires, where Shimura said: “I’d like you to play around as much as you can. And not just play around in groups of men, or groups of women, that’s easy. I want you to play around with the opposite sex. If you do that, then I think maybe the birth rate problem will go away a little bit.”

He then continued with: “I have a special request for the men. I know we’re always told about gender equality and equal gender participation, but when it comes to playing around, I’d like it if the men made the effort to ask out the women.”

Hiroshi Kondo, a professor at Yamanashi Eiwa College, had this to say about the speech: “Since people’s relationships and family planning are personal matters, I can’t say that it’s appropriate to reference them in an official, public area. It’s important to give a statement that’s not confined to strict views on gender, and to be considerate of diversity.”

Shimura later apologized for the remarks, saying: “My intention was to bring up awareness of marriage, but it was inappropriate. I apologize to those I made feel uncomfortable, and I retract my statement.”

If that was his intention, then it certainly did not come out of his mouth the way it was in his head. And even if he wanted to talk about marriage, like Professor Kondo mentioned, that still wouldn’t have been appropriate for the completely unrelated ceremony.

Here’s what Japanese netizens had to say:

“Not only is it gross, but it’s clear he doesn’t understand the birth rate problem at all.”

“Yuck. Before any of that, give people shorter work hours, or easier daycare.”

“And who’s going to care for these kids we get from ‘playing around’ huh?”

“People who say this only care about births. After that, they don’t care.”

“If you want more kids then raise our wages, increase societal welfare, and then leave us alone.”

“None of that is any of his business.”

Source: UTYテレビ山梨 via Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “Meat futon” skit with girls in bikinis on Japanese TV slammed as sexist and outdated

-- Survey reveals that secretaries in Japan say ‘no’ to these types of husband

-- Man sues police after being locked in with a member of yakuza group he was trying to leave

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
Login to comment

This is so Japanese. Always they try with strange methods to increase birth rate instead solving the main issue for the birth decline.

There were already have been comments in the pass such as woman are baby making machines.

I guess Japan has a long way to go to solve this issue.

Most women who get pregnant have to leave the company because often the women has to take care of the child. The payment is lower than men. Just playing around is not a solution.

First day at work.

How was your day?

I was told to play around and make babies.

There is no respect from this company.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Idiot, has no clue. Maybe he can pay and care for all the children born out of wedlock. Or maybe he's going to enact laws to protect these babies? Idiot.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

It was a poor attempt at humor, the guy should stick to his day job.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

... childish thinking, disconnected from reality ;

... guy ,s a pervert. Like many other Japanese middle aged men.

... not a surprise.

... what’s worrying is that these people are in charge of this country ...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I can imagine a bunch of sexual harassment cases coming out of this as the male employees might think they are been given the green light to harass female employees for sex. But if we entertain his comment seriously, I am sure they will not pay their employees more, reduce working hours, or enable them to take leave if they get pregnant which would better enable them to start families...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As always, instead of fixing the true root cause of the Problem, they just mock it and made it sound so stupid and childish.

How come a country like Japan became so developed with this infantile thinking and mentalities, it's one of the world's misteries...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Yuck. Before any of that, give people shorter work hours, or easier daycare.”

“And who’s going to care for these kids we get from ‘playing around’ huh?”

“People who say this only care about births. After that, they don’t care.”

“If you want more kids then raise our wages, increase societal welfare, and then leave us alone.”

This sums it all up here. Obviously this jokester/buffoon/fool has no clue about the responsibilities and challenges that come with parenthood. And 'pro-birth' isn't necessarily 'pro-life' if you can't maintain a good quality of life for your kids. Somebody bang his head with a frying pan.

How about increasing the wages, shortening the hours and granting parental leave?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Euro DudeToday 09:51 am JST

How come a country like Japan became so developed with this infantile thinking and mentalities, it's one of the world's misteries...

You can thank the manufacturing boost provided by supplying US forces in the Korean War, massive transfer of US capital, technologies and industrial knowledge, protected domestic market and near free access to Western consumer markets, and a docile population that could be exploited and put to work on slavish, repetitive manufacturing tasks. No mystery.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Or leaving Japan ?

I have Japanese nieces and nephews in Japan, some with nothing to worry about wether it is about finance or job choice. Still not making babies.

On the other side, I have an English niece in UK, got her 3rd child when 23. No job choice nor wealthy.

It proves what I always have been thinking (I could get more examples to support this assertion) : educated and/or material women will make far less (not enough) babies if given liberty to decide.

In my engineering class, there were 9 women. None of them had more than 2 and most to my knowledge had 1 or 0 (and now no more possibilities with age). I could replicate that to most groups.

So in Japan, nothing to be surprised about. And problem will never be solved (fertility rate to reach over 2) if women are given the choice. Fact. Not a personal opinion please.

Japan (and nearly if not all developed countries) is freedom for ladies.

Nothing to be surprised about about dropping fertility rate. It will happen.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Good motivation I support him, also need to pay attention to 1/10 haters and highlight it like majority. Masgomi

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let's see:

Shotgun weddings

Miserable marriages

Broken homes

Women unable to work

Empty wallets due to payments for education

Divorce

Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with this line of thinking?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, that's one way to edit a picture, I suppose.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

An utterly crass attempt at a joke.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For his next trick, Shimura will demonstrate in front of the audience using sock puppets.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What a complete idiot... nothing else you can say really.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Better than most of the boring welcome speeches out there. Lighten up.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I played around and got 4 kids, and the city office paid us 10,000 jpy / a child which is not enough to even pay for their diapers, so before saying "Play around" how about Paying more so couples can play around!!!!!!?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The world has lost its sense of humour.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pretty imbecilic message...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typical Japanese "Genius" politician.

Here’s what Japanese netizens had to say:

“Not only is it gross, but it’s clear he doesn’t understand the birth rate problem at all.”

“Yuck. Before any of that, give people shorter work hours, or easier daycare.”

“And who’s going to care for these kids we get from ‘playing around’ huh?”

“People who say this only care about births. After that, they don’t care.”

“If you want more kids then raise our wages, increase societal welfare, and then leave us alone.”

“None of that is any of his business.”

Seems to me your average Japanese Netizen has a better head on their shoulders than the average politician.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For his next trick, Shimura will demonstrate in front of the audience using sock puppets.

which are about as smart as he is

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites