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Labor minister opposes banning female dress codes with high heels

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Necessary? Why in the world would that be necessary? Reasonable? Debatable. I wish this man would be required to spend a few workday in high heels. Then I would ask him how necessary he felt it was to wear high heels for his work performance. Next, I would also like to hear again from him how reasonable he felt the requirement was.

50 ( +54 / -4 )

It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," 

necessary? How is it "Necessary" please explain get me to understand, with a rational explanation.

38 ( +43 / -5 )

forcing women to wear high heels at work is "outdated."

Indeed!

28 ( +32 / -4 )

MiceVice:

Exactly. This 'man' should also try wearing high heels for a few days. I bet he'd be begging for a foot massage after day one. Perhaps he'd also like to wear a miniskirt during the winter months so that he knows what schoolgirls have to go through. Whenever I see men and women dressed all in black and in the same suits or skirts, etc, during job-fair or fist day at work, I can't help thinking that Japan has always been the most successful communist country.

21 ( +29 / -8 )

Oh Japan when will you get out of the 1920's?

33 ( +37 / -4 )

Amazing.... well, then try the next approach. List up the Large Major Companies that require women to wear High Heels, and then ask for people to refrain from using those companies whenever possible. You need to hit businesses where it hurts. Right between the arches.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

Only in Japan, a man telling women and the world what is best for them.

And here you have it folks, Japan once again in a nutshell! What an arse!

35 ( +42 / -7 )

Perhaps he'd also like to wear a miniskirt during the winter months so that he knows what schoolgirls have to go through.

You have this one wrong, high school girls wear their skirts short because they want to, not because they have to.

And personally speaking I for one would love to be able to wear a skirt during the summer down here! Be nice to get some breeze "up there"

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Well, all you wimmin. Are you going to vote LDP again? These geezers are telling you to wear heels and make more babies.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

Well, for me it's not really the Minister's personal opinion that matters! It is his responsibility to investigate the issue and then make a collaborative decision. He is not the 'kami-sama".

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Why? Why is it necessary? Tell me why. You can't say something is necessary without explaining why. Heels are incredibly painful and have no function whatsoever. Why can't women just work without having to be some sort of eye-candy for someone else?

18 ( +22 / -4 )

Would it be acceptable to force men to wear high heels? Could it also be closed as "necessary"?

9 ( +13 / -4 )

To me what is outrageous here is the fact that the central government is dictating to private businesses what dress code they should have.

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

Who is speaking for "society"? This guy isn't even elected by that same society, yet he thinks he can impose his value on people? Let people be free to make their own choices, and then we'll see what is accepted and what isn't.

Society is made up of people, and people aren't the same. It's really irritating how for them the notion of private property is completely alien. It's completely unacceptable to tell a private business how they should dress.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Women, stop all this! The labor market is tight. If not wearing high heels is important to you, make asking about the dress code a priority in your interview. After that you have a choice to make. Remember there can be negative consequences for doing the right thing.

One more to add. If you want to go further, you can make a running 'beware' list of those companies which require women to wear high heels.

Nemoto makes policy. You make choices.

-15 ( +8 / -23 )

The troglodytes will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century. If women want change, more solidarity and action such as this is required. If the class of 2020 kicked off their heels en masse, this would cease to be "necessary" in an instant. What's Japan Inc. going to do about given the shrinking labor pool. "But," teeth sucked at recruiting fairs or interviews, "but ...."

Now if men can just start a suit/tie too movement.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Women should start wearing whatever shoes they feel comfortable in! Sod what that idiot trogladyte has to say!

11 ( +14 / -3 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces,"

He is justifying the dress policies on high heels by the fact that they exist. It's circular logic. Why are they ok? Because they exist. Why do they exist? Because they are ok.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

I think heels look very nice, but can you imagine having to stand in them all day? That would be torture.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," 

Generally accepted by the men, of course. The men who are in their 70's with their brains locked in the 60's. Do Japanese people ever get tired of being told what to do?

17 ( +21 / -4 )

To me what is outrageous here is the fact that the central government is dictating to private businesses what dress code they should have. 

But isn’t it the other way around?

His comments came after a group working against gender-based workplace discrimination submitted a petition with 18,800 signatures to the labor ministry on Monday calling for the government to ban companies from requiring women to wear high heels in the workplace, citing health and other issues.

Whether you agree or not with Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemot, I don’t, but it’s only his opinion. It is this “group” that is asking the government to tell private businesses how to dress. This group should be targeting and petitioning the largest companies and buying stock to attend the shareholders meetings, to make their case.

Or, use science and ergonomics, and make their case logically.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Japan, the 1950s called. They want their values back.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary

Mr Nemoto, YOU have to start wearing high heels at work if that's necessary. Government has to show the example. Get a pair of koma geta at your size.

Office workers wearing high heels,

On this photo, that's neither "high" nor unergonomic (I have the same in stewardess/nurse quality and they are cushioned like my ASICS). If that was the worst, there would be no #KuToo. The shoes supposed necessary for formal occasions, OTOH, they are higher, narrower, often rigid and always painful. There are sisters forced to work long hours with really unfitly high footwear and they end up with long term issues due to bad postures.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Women should just plain not wear them, all of them, love to see how work gets done without them.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

FizzBit, I don't think so.. the government should have working guidelines on things like hours, benefits, minimum pay and the like..

I believe its completely fair for a group to ask the government to make sure a very certain type of foot wear based on gender, often uncomfortable, impractical can not be a requirement for a job. I don't think its asking for an all out ban all together on any women ever wearing heels ever, or a company even requesting it as part of a uniform... just that It can't be an issue employment is based around if someone chooses not to for whatever reason.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If it's a necessity, why isn't HE wearing heels? I think he'd look good on them, pretty little thing :)

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I think heels look very nice...

Not the ones in the photo. Not fashionable. Not beautiful. Not comfortable.

Three strikes...

(Same for the suits. What airline are they with?)

1 ( +5 / -4 )

A predictable but still depressing response from the male minister.

I'm afraid you'll just have to step up the protests, ladies. Use you vote, and do whatever else it takes. Support female politicians and stand for office yourselves. Do not assume the women (or ordinary people of both sexes) in other countries got whatever they have without fighting for it. They did not.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

One good thing about high heels: they make women’s legs look beautiful.

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

The labor minister needs to stand up and tell them no. Simple, end of discussion.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

One good thing about high heels: they make women’s legs look beautiful.

Highly subjective view.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Go and take a look in your dictionary at the definition of “micro-management” and you’ll see an illustration of Japan.

Incidentally, the women in the above photograph are not actually wearing high heels...

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Exactly. This 'man' should also try wearing high heels for a few days. I bet he'd be begging for a foot massage after day one. Perhaps he'd also like to wear a miniskirt during the winter months so that he knows what schoolgirls have to go through

I'll second that

1 ( +7 / -6 )

This needs to get out in the international media. Name and shame

5 ( +12 / -7 )

FizzBit, I don't think so.. the government should have working guidelines on things like hours, benefits, minimum pay and the like.. 

Of course NZ, for large companies, full time jobs, who, lets say employ 25 people or more.

But that’s not who this petition is directed at:

The #KuToo campaign was started by actress and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa, who submitted the petition to the health ministry on Monday. She launched the campaign after tweeting about being forced to wear high heels for a part-time job at a funeral parlor 

A part-time job at a funeral parlor? Find another job if you don’t like it. Yumi didn’t mind those high heels so much when it was making her money while posing in bikinis or school uniforms.

-15 ( +4 / -19 )

This needs to get out in the international media. Name and shame

It already is. Why? Because nothing works better on the MSM SJW network crowd than a good olé fake news gender discrimination story.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

Another day, another pomade slathered LDP octogenarian with only the faintest grip on reality.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Ok firstly, meiyouwenti, the 20s called. They'd like their stupidity back.

Secondly, as much as these fossilized sewer scum would like to dampen an idea that's come, I can only help but smile knowing the fuse has been lit. It's now a matter of time!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

a good olé fake news gender discrimination story.

spend a day in high heels- then get back to me

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Ok firstly, meiyouwenti, the 20s called. They'd like their stupidity back.

Brilliant! but its not only meiyouwenti

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I detect ageism in the postings. disappointing...

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Japanese business culture is very superficial and based on appearance only. Your education standards and abilities run second. As long as you have the black suit, high heel shoes and a stupid hair cut you will get the job. What a joke!

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Stupid square minded macho men politics !!.. Try to wear high heels for one week and tell me what do you feel after all.. Same as stupid pseudo-christian republicans that think they own women's wombs ..

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This report is not very correct. Nemoto said he did not support total ban of forcing women wear high heels all the time. He meant to say It is necessary for them to wear high heels when they are in official places or meeting customers.

-19 ( +2 / -21 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

Get the oyaji to wear high heels evry day for a week...he,ll change mind in a flash.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Of course, it is a fascist and male chauvinist society. What would you expect? They force school students to wear ludicrous marine clothes with short skirt that no parents would ever think about...

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I'd be more inclined to care about these remarks if Japan had not yet again voted for an LDP government.

you voted for him, you have to listen to his nonsense.

stupid games stupid prizes etc.

if you hadn't voted LDP this clown and half the rest of the cabinet would be waving you through traffic at a construction site by now.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Why must men wear neckties? There are a lot of dumb rules both male and female must follow.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

For Japanese gentlemen, wearing the western shoes is not comfortable thing at all.  Foot shapes of Japanese and the westerners are different. It is tight. hot and unclean.

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

I'd be more inclined to care about these remarks if Japan had not yet again voted for an LDP government.

> you voted for him, you have to listen to his nonsense.

exactly. Sheeple

5 ( +8 / -3 )

For Japanese gentlemen, wearing the western shoes is not comfortable thing at all. Foot shapes of Japanese and the westerners are different. It is tight. hot and unclean.

Might I suggest you try on the shoes for size and fit before purchasing them?

20 ( +21 / -1 )

Spend a day wearing a suit in 40 degree weather with a piece of cloth tied around your neck. Each job has a uniform, if you don’t want to wear a baseball uniform, don’t choose to play baseball.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

> For Japanese gentlemen, wearing the western shoes is not comfortable thing at all. Foot shapes of Japanese and the westerners are different. It is tight. hot and unclean.

Do you believe that all Japanese feet are the same? Do you think that all westerners are the same?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Isnt this the same Minister who was involved in that expensive job data cover up scandal? Seriously, why dont they fire these guys? He shouldve been gone a lonnnnnnngggg time ago.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If enough irate Japanese women stand up to defy the sexist "dress code", the LDP trogs could be sent scurrying back into the woodwork under a hail of high heels.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Stupid layers of rules, there is no reason other than making rules to complicate the most simple tasks of daily life. I shave my head but the rule is wear a swim cap? I have no hair but the rule is wear a swim cap. Japan is the master of making rules that are abortary regardless of functionality.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Another photo of the minister making these statements shows he wasnt even wearing a necktie. So the argument about men having to wear ties is not valid.

Whether or not the heels are "appealing" is not the point. He said they are "necessary"

Explain what is NECESSARY about heels? What is it that cannot physically be done, without them?

I suspect that the only reason could be that you cannot give geriatric businessMEN a semi-boner while wearing serving them tea in flat-heeled shoes. This shows how backwards the office environment is here.

Does Abe-san want more women in the workforce? Does he want them to "shine" (or 死ね)? If so, he better go and have a word to his minister.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There is only one rational for making high heals for women "necessary and reasonable in workplaces,"  High heels supposedly make women's legs look sexier. A part of "business" is men leering at women's legs. Otherwise high heels are uncomfortable and hazardous. High heels put an unnatural strain particularly on the ankle and on the leg as a whole. It is hinders walking and makes the wearer prone to sprains. Then there issues of what do you do if a high heel breaks?

It past time to abolish the requirement of high heels in the workplace.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Sometimes I think Japan is an advanced and modern society. But when it comes to how it treats women, not so much. It would be better for society if men would empower women and let go of the idea that they need to control them. I hope the "minister" will become more worker friendly real soon.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

By all comparisons around the world, the shoes on the women in the picture with this story are NOT high heels.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Here’s an idea. How about all women just stop wearing high heels? What are their employers going to do? Fire them all? Probably not.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

"The labor minister indicated Wednesday he will not support a drive to ban dress codes that force women to wear high heels at work."

Of course the labor minister is against it. He's sexist. How about he be forced to wear them for one month and then rethink the issue.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

In general, there's no reason for most women to work in formal offices with men.

So, if they're going to do it, they need to at least look attractive.

-15 ( +0 / -15 )

 It would be better for society if men would empower women and let go of the idea that they need to control them.

Wrong.

As evidenced by countries like the US, women don't want equality, they want to control and dominate men. You can't let them.

-13 ( +2 / -15 )

Japan is ruled by jijis with ww2 mindset. No innovation and no future

14 ( +14 / -0 )

In general, there's no reason for most women to work in formal offices with men.

So, if they're going to do it, they need to at least look attractive.

Mike Pence, ladies and gentlemen!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I don't like French restaurants' dress code forcing me to come with formal wear. I complained to one of my french friend who told me. "Then don't go there"

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

For Japanese gentlemen, wearing the western shoes is not comfortable thing at all. Foot shapes of Japanese and the westerners are different. It is tight. hot and unclean.

I have heard some pretty ignorant things in all the years I have been living here, and this here just jumped up on to my "Top Ten List" of "Idiotic Things I Have Heard or Read While Living In Japan!"

Maybe you are one like the guys in the "Japanese Tradition" youtube video "Sushi", you wear the "geta" home and your feet smell like vinegar! (Go to around the 3:28 point)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDL8yu34fz0

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Business that have frequent visits from investors and customers, require staff to wear an appropriate formality and style of dress, both as an indication to the quality of product standards that company applies also a measure to the calibre the company attaches a workplace/office setting.

It my also be appropriate to provide employees with a clothing allowance to offset the additional costs. My own business promotes a smart casual but comfortable approach.

Employees are encouraged to mix individual personal styles to give an indication of workspace plus the innovative product development process. Where footwear is concerned smart clean training shoes only for Fridays.

We do not allow the men to wear high heels, for strict health and safety reasons. Seriously though, the business in Nagoya employees a number of cross-dressers, valued skilled IT developers. So why would we require our female staff to strut around in stiletto heels.

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto conveniently refrains from expressing clearly his logic or reasoning the necessity for such footwear.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

He should be made to wear heels for a week or something.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Seiza: sitting square on your seat very bad for your knees and insteps .. anyhow painful

In my Judo/Kendo class, none of foreign students complain about it

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

OK ladies, scratch off swanky funeral homes and hostess bars from your job list if you don’t want to wear high heels.

Did I miss any?

Take a look at pics of funeral home staff from your home “free” country. Some ladies do wear them. Oh the oppression.

Again

The #KuToo campaign was started by actress and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa, who submitted the petition to the health ministry on Monday. She launched the campaign after tweeting about being forced to wear high heels for a part-time job at a funeral parlor 

Yumi is taking her part time job, and a lot of SJW’s along with her, and trying to oppress other women because she don’t like high heels anymore since she stopped posing in bikinis and high school uniforms.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

My argument isnt against women wearing high heels. I am not all that fussed about clothing rules in the workplace either; as long as the clothes are practical (serve a purpose), and the rules are fair - i.e. Not allowing one group of people a more relaxed set of rules based on their gender.

My main problem is that this is the labor minister here, standing up in the diet (not wearing a necktie), and saying heels are NESSESSARY for women. This statement is idiotic and unbased

5 ( +5 / -0 )

showchinmono

I don't like French restaurants' dress code forcing me to come with formal wear. I complained to one of my french friend who told me. "Then don't go there"

But there are many other restaurants but when all the work places have the same female dress codes thens there a9n't any choice. Never been to a French restaurant even expensive ones in Paris that required a dress code?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Is this sexist relic still thinking it's prior to 1970 or what?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dress code should be between the employer and employee, and should be reasonable, non discriminatory and respectful of people. Why does a dinosaur politician/minister even need to comment about this? In other countries this would be like a joke for a minister to even offer any serious opinion about the necessity for high heels!? Embarrassing....

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Do Japanese people ever get tired of being told what to do ?

No, especially when it is about their appearance.

I tried with family and friends and colleagues (Japanese).

Impossible to oppose the system through a simple rational thinking.

Answer is a 7 year old child answer "because" (for instance, I never got any explanation why you have to each hour go out of the pool for some...)

Of course there are exceptions.

Here is a true story some time ago about Japanese person I know :

A Japanese lady had become a teacher and wanted some changes in her school. She explained the reasons for asking the change but was not listened to by her boss. She discussed with a good percentage of colleagues who agreed with her and told her each one of them they would be OK to go for a strike demo in the schoolyard.

The chosen day for action, she was alone !

She became an air hostess within a month, married a foreign staff and lived abroad.

She was neither excentric nor ideologic.

And was not against wearing high heels as far as she is concerned.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh Japan when will you get out of the 1920's

Women in 1920s Japan seldom if ever wore high heels. Western dress was relatively uncommon even for the few women in white collar jobs.

Those who think Japanese firms are singularly conservative should search on "British banking dress codes" to get some comparative perspective.

Law firms also tend to be very conservative either through stipulated dress codes or peer pressure.

Many organisations in Japan do not stipulate footwear for men or women. Most colleges and universities do not care what the academic staff wears. My local ward office has got guys who look and dress like outlaw bikers and women who dress like they get everything at recycle shops.

You have this one wrong, high school girls wear their skirts short because they want to, not because they have to.

Indeed. Many schools have slacks as an acceptable uniform for girls. They are very unpopular. Also, as soon as they leave school in the afternoon, many girls hitch their skirts up well above what their school regulations allow.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Why is the government getting involved with business decisions? Shouldn't each company make its own decisions? This is mirroring Huawei's relation with government. Look at the trouble that company has got into because the had to kowtow to government.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

necessary for whom?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why is everyone going on about schoolgirls and their skirts? Skirts - especially ones above the knee - do not hinder movement or cause long-term damage to your body in the way that high-heeled shoes do.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why are men involved in what is or isn't necessary for women to wear?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Once you loosen standards, there is no stopping it. Thats why instead of being reasonable, cool biz became a few people parading around in Hawaiian shirts and sandals like they are at the beach. Also why women in the USA show up to work in shorts, tanktops and sandals claiming that is appropriate for work.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Even if the labor minister and co. were to listen to the petition, I'm pretty sure the most they'd do is to "urge" companies not enforce those dinosaur guidelines.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said...

Mandatory high heels at the office, kids wearing blazers and long pants to indoctrination camp (school) on sweltering summer days while having to watch the colour and length of their hair. Or homeless people struggling to survive while corrupt politicians create unreasonable and insufferable laws; these things might be "generally accepted by society" but that doesn't mean it's sane.

“It is No Measure of Health to Be Well Adjusted to a Profoundly Sick Society” Krishnamurti

I don't think things will change until people realise they're on a gigantic people farm and start to take their power back by refusing to comply with laws, acts, statutes and the like which are unreasonable, like silly dress codes for example. It's gonna take a while.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Why are men involved in what is or isn't necessary for women to wear?

Exactly.

I think if men are going to decide what women should wear, then women should decide what men are to wear.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The world is laughing at this idiot. "Necessary"? In what way are heels 'necessary'? If they are so essential he should wear them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Deadforgood....yaadar....if women decide my fashion I'd be wrapped in cling film? Thinking about it, mmmm cling wrap! High heals NO way too uncomfortable.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think we can ask Takumi Nemoto to start wearing high heels then he can found the real life experience why submitted a petition with 18,800 signatures.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This might not get seen due to all the comments, and I don't have time to make sure it hasn't been mentioned already, but...

Maybe the biggest thing to point out here is, in this country, where there is always a reasonable chance that you will have to evacuate because of a natural disaster, forcing women to wear shoes that CLEARLY make evacuation much more difficult and dangerous goes beyond image-based sexism. It's cruel. I work in a large office building in Tokyo. If we had to evacuate because of a fire or whatnot, the women in my office would have no choice but to throw their heels away, exposing their feet to all kinds of extra dangers, if they had any hope of quickly evacuating. These comments are appalling.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

This is stupid! Don't these cretins have anything better to do? This is about as bad as American 'lawmakers'. Women should rebel against the stupid rules like this. In fact, if it ain't comfortable then don't wear it at all - and that goes for everybody, everywhere, all ages, all professions, both sexes, ALL PEOPLE.

There, I said it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

 if it ain't comfortable then don't wear it at all - and that goes for everybody, everywhere, all ages, all professions, both sexes, ALL PEOPLE.

There, I said it.

Scorching Hell coming up soon here in Japan. Let's all go naked everybody, everywhere, all ages, all professions, both sexes, ALL PEOPLE.

There, I said it.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

If I go to work in high heels and an unsightly floral shirt, will I be able knock off work early on Premium Friday if I promise to go on a trip to boost a local economy and get it on with my wife in a ryokan in an effort to breed kids with the air conditioner set at 28 degrees?

I’m just riding the LDP wave.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Basically, he is just responding to questions by Kanako Otsuji who literally said ”If you think carefully, there should not be such working place where you are supposed to wear high-heels or pumps" 

Nemoto basically is supporting the dress code of particular segments of industries, and responding to this Otsuji who consider the issue one of power harassment.

Please don’t waste our time with facts, the kneejerking is finally starting to move in sync.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

WOW!!!!A need to be passed ???.What a male dominated society. It says a lot abt Japanese men, which is stereo types and square. Poor minded.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

So why would they have launched Cool Biz over a decade ago, with one of the reasons being improving office workers comfort in boiling summers by not forcing them to wear suits to work, but not allow the female segment of the population to dispense with wearing heels for the same reason, not to mention the fact that wearing heels takes a toll on their bodies. Baffles me how frickin ignorant some of these dudes are.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

WOW!!!!A need to be passed ???.What a male dominated society. It says a lot abt Japanese men, which is stereo types and square. Poor minded.

You should read some of the comments above too. Pertussis not so surprising from some ageing oyaji but more surprising from a usually more cosmopolitan crowd in JT. Admittedly the supportive comments come from the usual pool of ultra conservative posts who lurk here below the line.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

This guy doesn't speak on behalf of "society". I would like to hear him explain how not wearing high heels would adversely affect job performance. Also, if high heels are "necessary" for women to do a job, why aren't they also mandatory for men?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

What a bloody dinosaur... Where I work (in an office) we don't have a dress code - and none of the women wear high heels... or any heels except when going to a meeting, and even then it's flat shoes.

I think this says more about Nemoto than 'society'...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I wish these jokers would give reasons for these blanket statements and decisions. Please tell the ladies exactly why these shoes are necessary, then we can all discuss those reasons and assess. You don’t just get to make stuff up just because you think it’s true. These are the people running the country. Think about that for a minute.

The foreign media will have this one for breakfast too. More embarrassment on the global stage. When does Reiwa kick in again?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I don't if it's all that bad. A lot of men in San Francisco wear heals. Even skirts.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

People are dumb. Just because you don’t agree with something doesn’t mean it needs to be banned. It’s up ri the employer to decide if they want to make it compulsory or not. Then, women can choose if they agree to follow or not.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I'm studying Japanese, and when I tell people, they often ask if I one day want to live and work in Japan. This is one of the reasons I always give a resounding NO. Japanese society is way behind on how they treat women. I feel sorry for the ones who are born into that.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Since it's so occupationally necessary, I'll be waiting for the pictures of Nemoto wearing a patent leather pump into the office!

He certainly looks like the type to get off on making women wear high heels too, and he's in the right party for it. Pathetic little man.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It is necessary to eat, to be happy ... not to wear heels.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

so, can skirts be shorter too ? and maybe 10+ cm heels ? wait are we talking about hostess clubs or offices?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Good on him - If these women don't like the dress code of a particular employer don't apply for a job with organisation, same with some one who isn't happy with the dress code of their existing employer find another job and move on.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

many many years ago I went on a stag do, and I we all got dressed up in ladies gear, well, I have deep respect for you ladies, how on earth do you balance on tiled floors on high heels? they are blinking dangerous I can tell you,! and they do cripple your feet and calf muscles. needless to say this act has not been carried out since then.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Brian, practice makes perfect

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

starpunk, i totally agree.. I could never understand why they dont let me go around in just my socks in the office...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yumi, well done.. from "actress" to "freelance writer" lol, to a real part time job at funeral parlor where she actually had to do real work....haha

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

To be fair, "必要かつ相当" is a standardized bureaucratic-legal phrase in Japanese legal and bureaucratic circles. It should be understood almost as one word rather than being subdivided into its components. After all, very few things are 必要 if you are tough on it - even if you are being shot at, it is not necessary for you to shoot back - you can always accept your death. But it would be 相当 (proportional) for you to do so, and these formulations will allow you to shoot back, generally.

It seems better to understand it as a two part test:

1) There are no close alternatives (in terms of effectiveness) that are less harmful or onerous.

2) The harm is proportionate to the gain.

Here is an example that demonstrate why the first part is kept. Awhile back, JapanToday had this article about some cop who chose to disarm a knife-wielding attacker using hand-to-hand techniques. Some critics cite American doctrine and suggest he should just have played it safe and whipped out his gun. It would have been proportionate for him to do so, and if you aren't too tough on the necessity part even necessary. But he believed he had a "close alternative" that is less harmful to the assailant and employed that option.

That's the sense this phrasing is shooting for.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Please take this opportunity to ban summer ties by law.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@FizzBit

Isn't this dress code mandated by the government? As far as i understand, the group wants to make the government abolish this law.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Aaaaaand yet again: Japan's politicians are a laughing stock the world over.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

As some of you already know well, media skews, twists, edits what just really happened.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

Which society is that..Nippon Kaigi ? Or some other geriatric Showa oyaji member only society ? Can the LDP dinosaurs be anymore contradictory ...pushing for casual Friday , Cool Biz but opposing women having a choice of footwear?

Btw, can I start a petition against govt ministers, politicians , bureaucracy apparatchicks and J oyajis in general dying their hair black ala Nemoto and wearing horse hair wigs...they look ridiculously stupid.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Necessary and appropriate?

Quite so, and I am sure the Minister looks very fetching in his pink Jimmy Choo stilettos.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OMG. Black dress coupled with fair skin, what beautiful Northeast Asian girls. Keep the code, it is sovereignty which is very rare these days.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

Japanasaurus Rex

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Maybe the biggest thing to point out here is, in this country, where there is always a reasonable chance that you will have to evacuate because of a natural disaster, forcing women to wear shoes that CLEARLY make evacuation much more difficult and dangerous goes beyond image-based sexism. It's cruel.

Exactly! Reminds me of that scene in Jurassic World where the woman is running away from a T. Rex in her heels. "Sure, it's impractical and realistically she'd die immediately, but dammit, she'll look good doing it!"

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Japan is definitely a country of contrasts. While they're an advanced society which has learnt to respect each other and make things in an ordered way, despite living in a tight space, they still support outdated and discriminatory ideologies. Here in Mexico, a "third world country", many enterprises have started to ban high heels due to health and safety reasons.

There're things about Japan I'll never understand.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

if you have ever wanted to go back to the 1950s in a time machine, you just have to take a plane to Japan..

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Alma Arreola

Japan is not an advanced society , just spend some time here and you will see for yourself.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Comparing high heels to ties is a bad analogy. Ties are not going to cause joint, back or foot problems. They may be stupid, in my opinion, and unnecessary but they are not a health risk and they are only a safety risk if you manage to get them caught in something.

Lalo: Paranoia and racism aside, your post is factually incorrect. If Japanese women decide for themselves what to wear why are a group of Japanese women protesting for the right to wear shoes that are not high heeled?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Completely agree with the majority of posters in that women that are job-hunting/already in the workplace should not be forced to wear high heels due to the stress and discomfort they present as well as the safety hazard in evacuation situations.

Agreed with toolonggone that high heels cannot be compared to ties. I also feel that the picture above represents the fact that so many office workers dress the same way and it just feels outdated. Hopefully, this is the beginning of a change in workplace dress codes that would be more accommodating to everyone.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The make labor minister in mysoginistic Japan opposes allowing females equality with males in regards to footwear? Shocking.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Make him wear them... in public this time.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"It's generally accepted by society that (wearing high heels) is necessary and reasonable in workplaces," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Takumi Nemoto said during a Diet committee session.

At first glance, it looked just poor translation but now looking intentional as always by Kyodo.

by skipping important parts of actual dialogue. (i.e., Vice minister's remark that it is not something to be forced to do.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

papigiulioJune 6  09:08 am JST

Isnt this the same Minister who was involved in that expensive job data cover up scandal? Seriously, why dont they fire these guys? He shouldve been gone a lonnnnnnngggg time ago.

I'm sure he's been making all the right noises about all the things Abe is really bothered about, e.g. Yasukuni Shrine, historical revision, Article 9 and the JSDF, etc. A few embarrassing screw-ups won't matter if he's on the same ideological page as the Dear Leader.

Andrew CrispJune 6  04:27 pm JST

Good on him - If these women don't like the dress code of a particular employer don't apply for a job with organisation...

What if all the other organsations an applicant might want to apply for a job with have the same dress code?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What the minister is referring to is shoes with the small heels called " Pumps " Just like in the photo above of Japanese women in their black pumps. In actual fact, what we term high heel shoes would be banned in most companies like banks etc. Pumps are basically part of the company uniform.

Everyone is completely misunderstanding what shoes the minister is referring to.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The "high heels" as shown in the picture accompanying the article do not look that outrageous to me.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

vic.MJune 7  11:18 am JST

What the minister is referring to is shoes with the small heels called " Pumps " Just like in the photo above of Japanese women in their black pumps. In actual fact, what we term high heel shoes would be banned in most companies like banks etc. Pumps are basically part of the company uniform.

Everyone is completely misunderstanding what shoes the minister is referring to.

No, everyone is not misunderstanding what he's saying. Many, if not most posters have worked in Japanese office and know that women don't generally go to work in 4-inch stilettos. Pumps come in a variety of heights and, technically speaking, pumps are high heels and are what the women in the photo are wearing. For many women, they are simply uncomfortable and there is absolutely no reason why a woman shouldn't be allowed to work in flats if that is what she prefers.

1glennJune 7  06:57 pm JST

The "high heels" as shown in the picture accompanying the article do not look that outrageous to me.

I'm not sure what you mean by "outrageous" but what is outrageous is not allowing a grown woman to decide what kind of shoe she wants to wear to work in so far as the shoe does not pose a safety hazard.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Missing from this article and almost all English language coverage of this issue are two important points:

(1) The Japanese petition was inspired by a British petition in 2017. This is explicitly stated on the Japanese petition site. In other words, a high heels requirement in corporate dress codes is not a peculiarity of "backward Japan."

(2) The British government explicitly took the stance that there was no need to prohibit such dress codes in effect saying the same thing as the Japanese government minister.

It is one thing to criticise corporate or government policy in Japan on the basis of universally accepted principles. It is something very different to make claims about Japanese backwardness or Japanese peculiarities when in fact it is easy enough to verify that similar patterns are found in "advanced Western countries" including the one that supplied the language for this venue.

The articles on the 2017 UK petition are numerous and easy to find. Search on "uk dress codes high heels".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

bullfighterToday  06:31 am JST

(2) The British government explicitly took the stance that there was no need to prohibit such dress codes in effect saying the same thing as the Japanese government minister.

Did any British government minister express the view that such shoes are "necessary?" If he had been talking about masks and gloves for surgeons, helmets for construction workers or anything like that l would totally agree, but high heels...? I don't know why he would say that.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'd get behind the #KuToo movement under one condition. First, these women pay cash money for suit, shoes, and ties. Compare that to the price of your shoes. Ladies, want to take off those high heels. Men, we want to stop spending boat loads of cash on formal wear. Women, have it too easy. This minister is right. The least women can do is try to look professional.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Simon Foston Today 07:33 am JST

I think the problem here is a simplistic translation that fails to reflect the historical usage of that phrase (see my June 6 06:05 pm JST).

First, to state my personal slant, I am very much for the abolition of formal wear in general. There is a strong correlation between the "formality" of an outfit and the degree of discomfort it causes the wearer, and I see no reason why we should perpetuate such SM (S on employers and anybody that prefers seeing "formal wear", and M on those who think wearing formal wear somehow makes them better).

Having said that, the average man still places a value on formal wear, and I'll admit I myself am not immune to it - if I see two unfamiliar doctors or salesman or whatever, and one is in a suit while the other is in a T-shirt, I confess I'll try the one in formal wear first. Such is the depth of indoctrination in society. And one of these "formal wear" happens to be women's shoes, be they pumps or high heels. Somewhere along the way, we've been irrevocably scarred and recognize those shoes as "formal" (and thus somehow better).

The other part of the puzzle is that women have been wearing these heels and pumps for a very long time. Certainly, they are uncomfortable and they create stress points (that's why they are uncomfortable). On the other hand, stress does not immediately translate into permanent damage, especially in a biologic body with a certain capacity of self repair. And the fact that we are only "discovering" the damaging aspects late in the game suggests that the damage is limited. Are you more likely to damage your feet in heels than in flats? Certainly. Are most women bodies resillient enough to "survive" heels of a moderate height? Statistically the answer should also be yes.

One has to remember that any abolition is a strong administrative measure that infringes on the autonomy of the enterprise and the customer's right to choose, which does not have to be bound by an "objective" standard set by some third-party. From the government's point of view, it is not something done lightly and the question is whether it is Proportionate (相当) to make such an infringement in the name of a relatively small gain in women's health, and whether it is necessary (必要).

I repeat my previous point: Very few things, perhaps even nothing, are "Necessary". It is almost always a comparison of what you lose (or fail to gain) among several alternatives, and if the difference exceeds a commonly agreed point, it would be "Necessary". So necessary should be read more as "the lack of less onerous alternatives that almost achieve the same thing".

In this case, the government would be able to make a case that there are alternatives, such as relying on the initiative of companies in response to consumer demands, or at least waiting until the "air" is more in the direction (if there are only a few people left who really want to see heels, clipping those few people out would be less onerous than clipping out the preferences of a lot of people).

That's why the government is probably right to hesitate to order a ban.

To get back to the original question, the "necessary" part is almost automatic. We simply hadn't trained ourselves to recognize shoes other than heels and pumps to be "formal ladies shoe wear" and society still values formal wear. Thus the necessary part is achieved (at least as it is used in that bureaucratic phrase) and the only test left is whether it is proportionate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes I'm a man so I apologize for what I'm about to say. I don't necessarily agree with the legislation but I do think women look very attractive in heels, even when they are at work. There I said it so you can down vote away.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Simon Foston  Today  07:33 am JST

bullfighterToday  06:31 am JST

(2) The British government explicitly took the stance that there was no need to prohibit such dress codes in effect saying the same thing as the Japanese government minister.

Did any British government minister express the view that such shoes are "necessary?" If he had been talking about masks and gloves for surgeons, helmets for construction workers or anything like that l would totally agree, but high heels...? I don't know why he would say that.

 

You aren’t updated or you don’t read Japanese at all? The Japanese government labor minister Nemoto did not express the view that such shoes are “necessary”. A vice minister Takagai did express the view that those (wearing such shoes) are not something employees are enforced to follow.  Ministry of Health、Labor and Welfare has already denied such media reporting that he affirmatively accepted such dress code.

 

Yes, his replies were poor and vague so that Otsuji of CDP repeated the same question 3 times to him and asked the same question to a Vice minister.

 

Even media reported the topic with split opinions and with different focus points. Asahi, Kyodo, Sankei, focused on whether he accepted or effectively accepted or not. Mainichi, NHK, Yomiuri rather focused on whether he judged such dress codes could be   power-harassment or not. But None of media reported he himself has the view that such shoes are “necessary”

 

Even Kyodo News( the source of this JT news) has changed the title of the news from “ accepted” to “ by generally accepted standards” in original(Japanese) news.

 

Intelligence is not the 1st thing needed to make a comment. Don’t you think?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I reread the Japanese language statement by the woman who originated the petition. She misinterpreted what happened in Britain. A parliamentary committee heard testimony on the high heels issue. It issued a recommendation. The government ignored the recommendation. The petitioner appears to have wrongly assumed that the government acted on the recommendation. It did not. This was widely reported in English but the petitioner seems to be relying only on Japanese language news coverage for what happened in Britain.

Similarly, many people commenting on this issue seem to be relying on a badly translated statement lifted out of context. Both Kyodo News and the Japan Times have a very poor record when it comes to controversial statements whether they were originally in Japanese or English. Whenever possible, I always look for and read a transcript in the original language of the press conference or Q&A that generated the quote.

I would advise others to do the same. Make your own judgement based on the original statement in context in the original language. Don't let others tell you what to think. (That includes me.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

presto345June 6 07:55 am JSTOne good thing about high heels: they make women’s legs look beautiful.

Highly subjective view.

Women's' legs can look very beautiful with no uncomfortable high heels on their feet. It's all how your perspective is. It's all in the mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These men should wear heels too then. They wouldn't even last an hour.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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