Abe apologizes for LDP member's sexist jeering


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Abe called for women to shine

...the kitchen floor and bathroom.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Way too late for apologies Abe-san. Let's see some actual action. This should of been dealt with far more quicker. Maybe they were just hoping it would brush over.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Apologizing is not enough. This incident really hurt his credibility after what he said in a campaign. There are some suspension and reshuffling the LDP members to do if he really wants the country to change. And... yeah very unlikely he'd do all that.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Damn, they apologized, that means they can shove the issue under the rug,

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What a class act Abe is.

Why the hell does he apologize to the Your Party leader? Was he the one being taunted and ridiculed. Did he had to stand there and take this sh¡t?! If Abe had any sense, he would have made guilty parties apologize first, and after that directed his lame ass, face-saving 'apology' to Shiomura herself.

I bet the spin doctors (if they exist here) are working more overtime than usual now, trying to come up with a way to defuse all this. The positive thing is that with today's somehow more 'democratic' society with social networks and what have you, it doesn't seem to be contained as easily. Very good.

Shiomura does the right thing talking to the foreign press, and she seems to understand this. Rock on.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Kudos to Shiomura-san for going to the FCCJ.

This is too important a national topic for perfunctory gestures. Heads should roll in the LDP, starting with its secretary-general.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

After days of denials, Suzuki said he was responsible and apologized to Shiomura as he resigned his membership of Abe’s ruling Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP).

This seems to be modern, conservative Japan's standard operating procedure:

Do something mean, cruel and provocative. Then lie about it. Lie, lie, lie, and if that doesn't work, lie some more. After lying doesn't work anymore, don the mask of taking responsibility and apologizing (Don't apologize for all the lying however.) Remember it's all just for appearances sake. There is no feeling of contrition at all, other than you were sorry you got caught and are being put in this position. Later, claim that your side is being bashed by politically correct "femi-nazis." Subject the apology in Step 3 to a "review."
5 ( +7 / -2 )

Limp. Wimp. What is he GOING TO DO about it?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Sorry for the inconvenience at the Tokyo assembly,”

And this just goes to show that Abe is useless as well when it comes to promoting a sexist free Japan. "Inconvenience"? No, you apologize for the sexist, childish behaviour of one of your own. And you apologize to the person who had to deal with it, not the party head. You then state that the person has been kicked out of the party and that you will find the others who made the other comments and get rid of them as well. Then you state that such things will not be tolerated. Well done Abe, you muppet.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

“His apology, delivered Tuesday to Your Party leader Keiichiro Asao, did not directly address the nature of the incident.”

Abe’s apology is too little and too late let alone hollow and artificial because it’s primarily a political rhetoric used to silent the uproar from international community.

In Japan, an apology is not just an apology since it carries little true original intent in it. In fact, apologies have been metamorphosing into a well-polished survial strategy in Japan. The underline meaning sounds like this: I apologized already, so I am done my part. No one should ever criticize me again, otherwise you recriminate me.)

Guess which country’s politicians give most apologies in the world ?

let me rephrase my question a bit, which country’s politicians mostly likely leverage empty apologies as a political bulletproof vest to dodge their accountability, whitewashing crimes/wrongdoings in the world ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Sorry for the inconvenience at the Tokyo assembly,”

That's it? That's the best Abe could muster? Pathetic.


Excellent post. And you're right, of course. Abe could take all of the reasonable steps you've outlined and probably effect some meaningful change that would benefit Japanese women for generations to come.

But the fact that he doesn't speaks volumes for where his priorities truly lie. Where do those priorities lie, one might ask? Here's a hint: They aren't with women gaining an equal voice at the table.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Internationally the reports also say that politicians and academics are saying she deserved it as she is not married or breeding. They are not sorry and are now trying to justifying their Neanderthal thinking. A huge embarrassment for Japan. How can any plan to increase the birth rate be serious when sprouted by these mummy boys.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Apology is appropriate.

But all Abe could come out with was "sorry for the inconvenience at the Tokyo Assembly," which I would not describe as anywhere near appropriate. It's almost worse than the offending remarks themselves, in fact. I mean, this Suzuki person could at least claim in his defense to have said something incredibly stupid in the heat of the moment. Abe had several days to consider the situation and decide on an appropriate response, and that's the best he could do. Abysmal.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The apology, issued to the male head of the woman’s opposition Your Party,

Two points. First, Abe is such a wimp he does not even have the guts to offer his apology to the woman herself. So the subtle message is that neither she nor the issue was that important to him. Second, this reinforces what I have been saying for years, that apologies by Japan Inc. types -- politicians, bureaucrats, corporate leaders -- have become totally meaningless, and are just the way to try to play the press to get them to move on to the next story -- "Apology issued so case closed". And, unfortunately, the press and the public let them get way with that kind of patroning, condescending and arrogant behavior. Disgusting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many have posted this apology is half-@ss and not enough.

Abe's apology to the head of Shiomura's Your Party is proper etiquette in Japan. His group insulted the Your Party group, and therefore apologized to that team's leader. Individuals do not matter here. The group does.

And the apology serves to settle the matter. No need to refer to specifics, as everyone knows why he apologized.

Japan is 140 years out of Feudalism. Never forget that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This whole story has grown legs, and Japanese media are reporting that foreign media are reporting on it (which means you know they are finally going to take it seriously). I was especially impressed with the warm and sympathetic welcome that Ms. Shimomura received from the FCCJ.

But it's so frustrating too. Why does change in Japan always have to come from outside pressure?

2 ( +5 / -3 )


Gone wild to International media, facebook and twitter. This will be non stoppable until other coward who said, "are you not able to have a baby?", come forward. IHO, this is a pivotal moment and opportunity for Japanese women if they seriously want to gain equality in society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Abe has made great play of his desire to level the gender playing field, making numerous speeches on the subject over recent months."

And as usual Abe is all talk and no action, expecting everyone to do everything for him unless it's something nationalist that will hurt Japan's interests. Now we have him directly apologizing to the Your Party and not at all mentioning the woman who was heckled or apologizing to her for 'inconvenience', all the while still touting his 'plan to make women shine'. This guy needs a serious kick in the head with a frozen boot.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Abe want credibility on gender issues, he's go to throw off the mantle of J 'amakudar'i behaviour

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Suzuki is a pathetic sexist who is not fit to represent all the people of Japan.. Why aren't there rules or policy to reprimand people who discriminate and abuse there position?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As I posted when this situation first was reported. The LDP is deeply rooted in its "OLD WAYS" nothing is going to change one guy took the heat for the others!! Just as I said they would come forward take a deep bow and wait for this entire thing to blow over. What Ayaka Shiomura should do is galvanize the women in Japan this is their fight too they should get behind her and ride this issue out and demand more. But wait she will accept that bow because that is what she is expected to do and from here forth nothing is going to happen just talk!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So Abe apologizes and the J-government has chosen to raise an issue that is very much its own failing. It is clear that women with same education level as men do not have the same working rights as their male counterparts. Moreover, women do not have significant political representation at any level of governance. Women hold only 3 percent of senior government roles, and it seems unlikely that any major changes to the working environment will emerge in the near future. Surely the J-government can see that the real problem does not lie in a lack of laws, but rather in a lack of desire to instate real change. One starts to get the feeling that it is less about J-goverment speaking up for gender equality, and more about keeping up appearances. In Japan, the problem is deeper and more complex, and even if the government implements policies in the future to encourage women's rights from a state level, it remains doubtful that this will ever be practiced in good spirit by large and small businesses. Simply urging industries to look beyond entrenched prejudices will not be enough to break down the barriers to gender equality. If the J-government wishes to build its economy on the foundations of equal working rights, it will need to practice and encourage a great deal more of self-evaluation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many here are yelling for the LDP to do something. What about Shiomura's own party? Maybe the center-right Your Party should distinguish itself here. Maybe Shiomura could be the face for policies that aid a more female-workforce.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Couple of things:

1.) Why is Abe apologizing for someone who doesn't even work under him but happened to have run on the same party ticket? Does the President of the U.S. apologize when some Democratic mayor gets indicted for bribes and kickbacks? (And yes, I realize Suzuki hasn't committed a crime with his boorish comments.) Talk about your useless apologies - this one is the champion of all useless apologies!


The apology, issued to the male head of the woman’s opposition Your Party,

The gender of the head of the opposition party wasn't necessary in this article unless AFP wanted to raise more rancor over a non-issue. It seems Abe talked to him due to his position in the Your Party party, not his gender. Perhaps AFP is going to start identifying the gender EVERY TIME they write about a job title? Yeah, didn't think so.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

140 years out of feudalism? Maybe 140 days is more realistic. The leaders are past leaders sons who are past leaders sons, the feudal overlords just do not understand social media. If they could ban it to save their skins they would.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Member's jeering...singular??

0 ( +0 / -0 )


I'm not saying I agree or disagree. I'm explaining how it works. Ask Japanese people, say over the age of 30. See if they think personal apologies are appropriate. Personal as an directed to an individual.

I think what you will find, if you haven't done already, is that there is variety of opinion. Many people think props the way you do. More than those, people will express hey more traditional view in Japan. Or rather, a more common traditional view in Japan. You can always look at Japan and criticize it for what it is and what it is not. Fair enough. You are entitled to your opinion. But your opinion, no matter how passionately held, will not necessarily persuade Japanese to see it your way. Or I should say those Japanese to take a more traditional view.

before criticizing anything, I first try to understand. You do not seem to have tried to do this. I think that is a mistake. Female liberation is linked with individual liberty. The disconnect between the older conservative LDP members here, and their supporters, who are great in number, with your and my way of thinking is based on that fundamental difference. That is, we see individual liberty as important and they do not. Rather than think about that, you seem more interested in affirming your belief and criticizing them. This is precisely the approach that so many conservatives in Japan find both distasteful and stupid. In other words it it's right into their game plan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't see nay mention of a resignation here. For something like that surely any honourable person would resign and seek re-election if they think they deserve a second chance.

Honestly its worse than little school boys.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You see, these poor pols have to be really sincere all the time, and average folk like you and me just can't understand the stress that causes, the poor guys were just letting off a little steam.

And yes, yes, yes to Tessa above. (But!-- Though the foreign attention will cause the J media to actually pay attention, it will also give plenty of fuel to the "they don't understand us" and "the real Japanese way is different" fire, which will reinforce sexist conservatism.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@nteruni321JUN. 25, 2014 - 12:43AM JST I don't see nay mention of a resignation here. For something like that surely any honourable person would resign and seek re-election if they think they deserve a second chance. Honestly its worse than little school boys.hiding.


He resigned from LDP. However, he said he is not going to resign from Assembly. Assembly can decide to get rid him off by calling Energen Session. However, because Assembly President Yoshiwara (LDP) stated he never heard before, it is unlikely he will be forced to resign. There are more hecklers hiding. You never know who are other hecklers 59 LDP members. Maybe Yoshino and Yoshiwara were hecklers, too?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A majority of Your Party supporters were LDP members who splitted from LDP years ago. There are quite many elected Your Party Upper House and Lower House (Sangi-in and Shu-gi-in) members. In Tokyo Assembly, only 4 assembly members. Your Party is not left wing. It is defined as Center Right. Apology is appropriate. I don't think Abe should keep mouth shut. Or should he ignore?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, what else could Abe have done? Stepped down because some lame twit shot his mouth off in parliament? The twit has resigned and Abe has apologised. Let's put this to rest so the rest of them can get on with running the country (into the ground).

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

jerseyboy JUN. 24, 2014 - 10:19PM JST Two points. First, Abe is such a wimp he does not even have the guts to offer his apology to the woman herself. So the subtle message is that neither she nor the issue was that important to him. Second, this reinforces what I have been saying for years, that apologies by Japan Inc. types -- politicians, bureaucrats, corporate leaders -- have become totally meaningless,

If he had any darn respect and wisdom, he'd resign himself by now after the mess he threw Japan into and recommend his wife but nah, he says he will do the tax reform. He could've fixed the gender issues in workplace right away but he'd rather be busy prioritising to revise the article 9 leaving it until 2020. He and all his pals are same warmongering people that would've ended up at Ukiyo circle if they never entered the politics.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

we see individual liberty as important and they do not.

JTDanMan -- precisely, which is why they are fair game for any/all criticism. Don't call your self a democracy, with a Constitution that affirms individual rights for everyone, and then allow a party like the LDP, and its archaic thinking, to rule the roost for over 5 decades. Japanese people, among the most literate and educated in the world, need to decide if they want to rule themsleves, or be ruled in basically a feudal manner. And, respectfully, hiding behind the fact that Abe apologized to the head of the other party, because that is proper protocol, or that he did not need to get into specifics, because everyone knows them, is simply showing that he knows they don't have the will to rule themselves -- so they let an elite bureaucracy do it for them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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