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
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