politics

Gov't calls on Tokyo council to clean itself up after sexist jeers

80 Comments
By Hiroshi Hiyama

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2014 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


80 Comments
Login to comment

Oh Japan !!! It is an island both physically and mentally ....... It is incredible the amount of crap that goes on in here whether it is on the current prime minister's party or elsewhere in Japanese life ....... It is really sad the Japanese can not come to terms with themselves .

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Yeah... Like calling on them to clean themselves up is actually gonna make them do it. Just like calling on TEPCO to self-regulate is gonna make them do it. Effing zero chances of that happening.

Sometimes, it takes a little arm-twisting to get things done. Name and shame, and that will make them clean themselves up a lot faster.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, cautioned that the incident in Tokyo’s metropolitan assembly had nothing to do with national politics.

This kind of attitude bothers me treating it as irrelevance and quietly shrugging it off. I would love Japan to prosper but senior politicians are scaring off any potential foreign immigrants from even coming here with these dumb spectacles. I'm glad this got international attention, they cannot ignore this problem forever. They will need to handle this with appropriate punishments.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

not only should the tokyo city gov't "clean itself up," but it should also tar and feather the old farts who hurled the abuse. glad to see so many japanese people up in arms about this.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

inundated with calls and complaints from people who will vote the same old men back in next time around, while the young people that all the decisions made by these people probably won't vote or even know there is an election on....

too harsh.. not sure.. in a bad mood..

11 ( +12 / -1 )

you can hear the sexist idiots here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvRK970s0JU

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So how the hell said it! Will they reveal that already?!

To be quite frank; ut's not Japan vs. its politicians. Japan and its people have chosen by action or non-action to let these people lead them and as such, deserve absolutely what they get. The political apathy in this nation is fracking disturbing but this is what happens when so-called adults rather head over to Disneyland and wear Mickey Mouse-ears than try to improve the lives of others and themselves.

Dozo

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Clean itself up - my winking ringpiece.

With wearisome predictability, the names of these fossilised buffoons will never come to light, the old boys club will put the wagons in a circle and there will not be anyone held to account for this despicable conduct.

"I didn't hear anything. It wasn't me. It is most regrettable, and we must make sincere efforts".

The ritual having been performed, all responsible will be unchastised and spending our tax revenue as "business expenses" in Ginza hostess clubs this very evening.

9 ( +11 / -3 )

Anyone actually know who were the culprits?

In this day and age of cameras everywhere I am sure that someone got the people responsible on their phones.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They should find the ones involved and charge them with contempt (defamation).

10 ( +11 / -1 )

you can hear the sexist idiots here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvRK970s0JU

Whoah, what's with the bowing?! No wonder they get nothing done.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Clean itself up? Abe should be sacking somone, yesterday! Sacking them from the party.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I really dislike the older generation in Japan, the most sexist views come from them. The guy/s who made the sexist comments should be sacked - this is something that wouldn't be tolerated here in England. They need to learn to respect women more and treat them as an equal. These men need to get out of their primitive mindset.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, cautioned that the incident in Tokyo’s metropolitan assembly had nothing to do with national politics.

It has EVERYTHING to do with national politics. If Abe and his merry littel band of monkeys would actually DO something about the work situation and lack of daycares rather than blabber on about it, things might change and this crap wouldn't happen.

But “if there were comments of a sexist nature, I would like the assembly to clean itself up,” he told a regular press briefing in Tokyo.

IF????

Criticism from across the political spectrum was heaped upon still-unidentified city politicians from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal-Democratic Party, who unleashed the abuse during a city debate on child-rearing this week.

The good old boy's club protecting their own. They know damn well who made the comments but won't fuss up to it. Disgusting.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

This is nothing new nor particularly extreme by Japanese political standards. I'm sure many here can remember Ishihara's belter about women past childbearing age being a waste and a sin. This will be shrugged off by most of the public and those doing the shouting will probably be genuinely wondering what the fuss is all about. I'm sure their mamas in the snack bars or the hostesses will confirm their beliefs tonight.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Above all, I think Tokyo mertopolitan concil should come clean ASAP as Chief Cabinet secretary says.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"if there were comments of a sexist nature, I would like the assembly to clean itself up,” he told a regular press briefing in Tokyo.

You have got to be kidding me. What kind of ridiculous language is that? Umm... CLEARLY there were said comments you dropkick!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Jimizo,

Agree completely. That Taro Japan somehow would be "upset" over this is said by people not knowing Japan. Japan doesn't care. About people. It is telling that the government considers this a national non-issue. Abe-kun's "promises" to get women into the workforce is also interesting because it has nothing to do with gender equality or what is good for the people. It only has to do with what serves the country. Very progressive thinking in 2014, right?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Anyone else remember Yanagisawa describing women as "machines for making babies" a few years ago?

Still representing Shizuoka 3rd District. Sorrow for miscommunication. Bows made, ceremony observed, end of story.

That's all the self-cleaning we can expect from this gerontophallocracy.

The voters will continue to return their feudal overlords to their predestined estates. 'Tis the way of things.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Yep!

Don't forget Ishihara's comment that women beyond their years of making kids aren't needed.

Don't forget Hashimoto's comments about asking his wife about his kids because it's "her job" and he can only cope with them for "about an hour".

Lovely men in positions of power. And this is what they say in public. Shudders to think what they say to their mates with the mics off.

Kaal, indeed. Too many guys like this around.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

This I truly respect:

Ayaka Shiomura, 35, called on her tormenters to make themselves known rather than waiting for them to be outed.

She is exactly right. Everyone should question the manliness of these LDP misogynists.

Do real men treat women this way?

If you got a pair, make yourself heard. In public.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I get the feeling that most posters just do not understand how very special these old men are! Their mums have washed their clothes, made their bentos and told them everyday how special they are. How lucky mum feels having such a special person in their life. Go forth and teach those beneath you the right way! Put down that chid porn and speak to the people they will love you as I do. Please don't hit me so much! You are special.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

These 'jeers' and 'taunts' are not unplanned.

Observe the fact that Governor Masuzoe (LDP) followed Shiomura in speaking to the assembly. He said absolutely nothing about this disgrace. Implicitly or explicitly, he approved.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Not a peep of this story on the 7 oclock NHK news. Go figure.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

The way those men talked and jeered at her was disgusting. A real disgrace.

However that being said, I don't think that either a "childfree by choice" career woman, OR a bunch or workaholic old men who have rarely seen their own kids while they are growing up, are the ones who should be having a conversation about working mothers and child rearing. Neither this woman or these men could be further from the realities of working mothers.

And as for the "infertility" speech she is giving us. She might want to bear in mind that fertility drops off a cliff after 35, and even more so after 40. Its not infertility after 35 - its biology. Its your body preparing for menopause. We should be encouraging women to have kids in their twenties and early thirties, not pouring money into (hugely unsuccessful) IVF for women in their 40s, just in a bid to get the population up.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

kimuzukashiiiii, are you a politician? Your attitude would suggest that in Japan you would do well.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

From the point of view as one of a Japanese woman, this is sad to know that actually at least some men in Japan are thinking like this way. I feel like there is a limitation for women will be truly accepted in the society... :(

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The word is not assemblywoman. She is a 議員 in Japanese, this does not denote her gender, so why would we add sexism to the English translation.

She is a Tokyo Metropolitan Councillor or a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. Same as her male colleagues. C'mon Japan Today, it's the 21st century.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Disgusting, however I put blame on those who put them in power and continue to support them. You reap what you sow, and all. Or just vote what your neighbor tells you to and keep your head buried in the sand, apparently.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Howard, it was on the news ... yesterday.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Perhaps, if Japan is lucky, Abe's wife will convince him to 'out' these individuals. Japan is indeed an island, but I believe Abe and friends know it is not in the best interest of the country to accept such behavior. I don't know whether they really give a darn about women, but they might see the long term economic advantage of not appearing like a medieval society.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday, Shiomura said her “head went blank” when the abuse started.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Oh, no. Entire USA people know this..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kimuzukashiiiii, are you a politician? Your attitude would suggest that in Japan you would do well.

Whys that? Because I suggest that working mothers are allowed to represent themselves in the political arena? Instead of those who have no idea what its like to be a working mother, and who only got where they were because born with a silver spoon in their mouths?

Or because Im suggesting that women are given the opportunity to have babies at a sensible age, when they are young and energetic enough to birth them easily and take care of them properly? And given the choice whether to work at the same time, and the support if they need to?

Because Im sure Aso Taro would not be supporting THAT.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The city assembly has 127 members, of whom 25 are women. In national politics, women occupy just 78 of the 722 seats in the two legislative chambers of the Diet.

What you need to do is to cut this number by half. You do not need this many politicians.

Many of these members are earning more than $200,000 with special exclusive benefits. They are just a bunch of power hungry "Oyaji Club" NOT serving for tax payers and public interests.

That's the first place you can balance the annual national budget while the Japanese sovereign debt is too high. Keep only who CAN PRODUCE!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Oh, no. Entire USA people know this.." I heard someone even tweeted Obama about it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, cautioned that the incident in Tokyo’s metropolitan assembly had nothing to do with national politics"

Yeah, not at all... at a national... ummm... political assembly. So, what did it have to do with, Suga? Seems it has EVERYTHING to do with national politics, including and, sadly, not limited to your own party and the attitude of its members. You want it to GET cleaned up, but that won't happen until YOU clean it up! That's why you are such an international joke when it comes to backing up your words. And why are the people who made the comments still not identified in the media? Embarrassed a little?

I told you they would take this kind of line. And the cowards who made the comments will hide until the international media attention is too much for the nation to bear. Hopefully by tomorrow morning.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

LDP has to release the name(s) of heckler(s) and how it punished. or JDP and other parties will move toward cooperative government against LDP. with almost entire Japanese female voters.

Since this is Tokyo Govt Assembly member(s) action, maybe LDP assign Katayama to this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

kimuzukashiii: "However that being said..."

And THAT's where you destroy your own post. I'm guessing you're male.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“In order to show the public that these sexist comments cannot be tolerated, they should identify the people who made the remarks and let them take the heat,” tweeted lawyer Ryo Sasaki, who added that the comments would mean a sacking in the private sector.

Spot on -- but it won't happen. Japan is and always will be a male-dominated, third-world country in regards many social issues, this being just one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Knox, do you not see the glaring issue with your comment? 'Supporting' women's rights then belittling the bowing culture of a whole people? Did you think when you posted?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Health minister Norihisa Tamura, whose portfolio includes the welfare of working women, said the comments were “not only deeply disrespectful to women, it was a major human rights issue”.

Japanese citizens have a right to escalate this issue to the United Nations Human Rights Council to hear this case if nothing is done. Hope you will be able to find these idiots who are responsible. Please update. Thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh No this kind of ridicule does not happen in Japan!!!! Japan is a very quiet respectful place to live!!! Yeah right!!!!! The old foggies who do nothing but get pampered walk around in their daily black suits will do nothing! Its a good old boys club. The same women they are trying to forever keep home bare foot and pregnant with a apron on is the same mothers who wiped their snotty noises made them bento lunches and told them they were special. The LDP will not release the name(s) of heckler(s) and they will not be punished, if anything they will all appear on TV or to the media and take a photo opp bowing asking for forgiveness the JDP and other parties will just accept it and this will just blow over. If this was such an issue it would have been reported as a serious issue on the news more than the soccer team playing to a tie score. Nothing will happen Japan does not want to change its old ingrained ways this is 2014 and still the country think of women as second class citizens and are just reproduction factories! Wow the country is in denial about many things! I hope I don't get sensored for writing this!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"But a lack of childcare facilities, poor career support and deeply entrenched sexism are blamed for keeping women at home."

I hear this a lot, but I feel like it's the women who keep the women at home.

People act like Japanese woman are so oppressed, but in all the time I've lived and worked in Japan, I've rarely met a woman who cares about having a career, improving women's situation in the work place and combatting ever present sexism.

Instead, it seems woman here care about finding a husband, getting a Coach bag, producing children, making Kitty-chan obentos, competing with other mothers etc.

They perpetuate the problem IMHO.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Above photo, the back of her cute face has 7 Japanese written (of cause she is appealing to Japanese) messages. The bellow, I will write translation.

Refoorm of Tokyo Govt, Tokyo Assembly Reexamine area sovereignty, prefecture system

Support Growth of children

' . Support Working Females

Support Aged People''

Aimed zero animal killing punishment'

Disaster Prevention Capital City Tokyo

Tourist Mecca Tokyo
-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Well first it's clear that the old farts don't stand much a chance of rolling back women's rights. That's a good thing.

In fact, I can't remember this kind of thing in the 20 years I've been observing Japanese politics. Actual sexist jeering on the floor of the legislative body. My memory may not be the best though. Still if it is indeed unusual thing, and that certainly shows the progress that women have made in securing their rights. And the desperation that the sexists most certainly feel. They are losing and they know it.

Finally, I would like to remind those who are calling for blood, the importance of allowing legislatures to have complete freedom of speech. In the US, no legislature can be held responsible for anything they say on the floor of Congress. That's a good thing for protecting the freedom of speech. The very thing these jerks were trying to stop

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The funniest line in this was .... this has nothing to do with national politics! They can't really think that it is just in their ol'boy net work, can they? This is why family political dynasties are so bad for the nation. The cavemen just breed cavemen. Someone knows who said what and they will be outed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, cautioned that the incident in Tokyo’s metropolitan assembly had nothing to do with national politics

Evidently this guy doesn't know what politics is and therefore doesn't understand his job description; either that or else he understands too well and he's trying too pull the wool over my eyes. Either way: it's either the mumps or the measles.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JTDanMan: Human Rights is above freedom of speech.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

COWARDS! - Come Forward!

They should come forward and debate their "point of view" Face-to-Face with Ms. Shiomura.

LOL - they're probably a bunch of Mama's Boys anyways.

Besides, I admire Ms. Shiomura for her courage and determination and I hope she presses forward with her willingness to help Women in Japan to get a fair voice and free of discrimination.

...cowards.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

She tries to promote Tokyo with her humanitarian minds and this assembly man tries to destroy her effort with that heckling. Hecklers must be trying to reduce USA visitors in Olympic and also decrease USA tourists to Tokyo ever after. Hecklers must be hating Tokyo beside hating women.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One sexist incident and the world blames Japan and Japanese for their "feudal" social structure and endemic sexist culture.

LDP assemblymen are by and large sycophants or half-witted political scions. Did anyone see how arrogant and uncouth they were in parliament? They constitute the worst in Japanese society, not its finest.

They are not representative of Japanese society. Sadly, they are the political representatives of Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Green: How long have you been here interviewing Japanese women? I counter your 'observations' with the women I have met and know and even married here in Japan. Focused, smart, successful and looking for change... BUT it is SO entrenched, SO structured, from the media, to pop culture, to language even, it's a BIG ask without a revolution in thought by Japanese men.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@YongYang Going on 20 years. Yes, I too have met some really intelligent, successful Japanese women---but guess where they are? Abroad.

I'm sorry I don't understand this: "it's a BIG ask without a revolution in thought by Japanese men".

Japanese men are apathetic for the most part.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The city assembly has 127 members, of whom 25 are women.

...and if you watch the video clip of her speech, it seemed that only the 24 women in the seats were the ones who applauded at the end.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly is overrun with cowards - both the bottom-feeding excuses for men that hurled the heckles AND the larger group of slime that laughed at the heckles. None of that group had the testicles to admit who said what. I'll bet these same embarrassments to REAL men everywhere get up and pontificate about the evils of bullying in Tokyo's schools every time a student commits suicide due to bullying. It wouldn't do any good to point that out to them, though. They're too dense to make the connection.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I said it before; you can't change these opinionated old Japanese male politicians to move into the modern world. They can't stand to see a women as equal amongst them. Remember, these are the same politicians who approved the use of Viagra in record time but refused to approve the birth control pill for the women. I have no doubt in my mind that these old farts will be downfall of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@openminded

Human Rights is above freedom of speech

Not so sure you can have one without the other. Anyways, perhaps it would help if I correct myself and write what I meant to say the first time:

In the US, no legislator can be held liable for defamation for anything they say on the floor of Congress.

And that protection of the freedom of speech is what, in the American legal system, protects our rights.

Politicians, of course, can and are held responsible to the electorate for the crap that spews out of their mouths. The electors who voted for the presumably old farts who heckled and dishonored Shiomura will probably not do that though, because there are too many such dopes in Japan. (As an aside, it is ironic, to say the least, that these men who criticize a Shiomura, a women, for being "unwomanly" do so in a most ungentlemanly manner). And not all of them are old: the resurgence of the Ugly Right in Japan's youth is deeply linked with their wounded pride as perceived through the emasculation of Japanese national power. Never forget, women were chattel before the US defeated Japan.

Regardless, Shiomura will stand her ground, and there is nothing the sexists can do make her go away. And in this way, the insult and the honorable manner in which Shiomura conducts herself can only expose the sexists for what they are: Ugly Bullies.

Japanese women, and a good portion of the younger men, simply do put up with that crap any longer. Just like in the US, every time the hard right mounts off about them female folk with their female parts, another 1,000 women vote Democratic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese women look for husbands? Are they free like this comment green wrote? Boys and girls do not attend same schools since Jr HS, If a girl date with a boy, she could be expeled in Japan. If a girl shows interested in boy, she will be labeled Furo and usually ostracized in her area. Grown up women who look for a man is usually treated as if she is a prostitute. @green are you sure you came to Japan?

Back to topic. I think only one assembly man heckled. Except him, LDP members know Abe tries to include females in working areas. They know they need somen voters to keep being elected assemblyman or future election. By now, Abe's wife must be lecturing Abe with her Domestic Opposition Party agendas. Don;t forget they are rooted in Yamaguchi-ken, Among others, noted for hen-pecked prefecture.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I say she should be looking at the situation like this:

They knew she was right and got scared of her, so they did what everyone who is too afraid do: mocking and ridiculing. Now that the situation has worldwide attention, the ones who mocked her are backed into yet another corner and will be forced into doing the right thing. After all, the politicians only do something when everyone gets into their business anyway.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Are you not able to have a baby?

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Insult to women who are not able to have a baby. Abe must be feeling his family is insulted. His mother's side grandpa Kishi was adopted to Kishi family because Kishi family females did not become pregnant. Also, Abe's brother Nobuo was adopted to Kishi family.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Boys and girls do not attend same schools since Jr HS

I take it you haven't been in Japan in a long while? Most schools these days are mixed.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@cleo: I visited gakushuin this year April. It has Joshi Gakushuin and Gakushuin, Vist local schools. Joshi kokou and koukou. I have three grand nieces in Joshi Gakushuin. Also, my youngest brother's grand chilren in Yokohama. Visit schools. Public JR HS. that has no HS. Girls and boys in different buildings. Notice girls in one playgrounds and boys in different area playground. I am not talking about my aunt who went there with Showa Empress that I used to nose her friends gossiping. I am talking about this year. Also check Ministry of Education,.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Toshiko - there are very few segregated schools in Japan anymore. Almost all are mixed male-female.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A complaint was handed to the Assembly and it has been rejected under the premise that 'We don't know who said it', RIGHT then was the answer, we are going to have a voice analyst listen and determine who it was, 'Ah, ok', came the reply, 'We will ask each member if they said it', SOMETIMES this country...!! But good on the Ms Shiomura camp for pushing, pushing, pushing. Find this bigot and get him dismissed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

toshiko - Gakushuin is one private school; it is not representative of all schools in Japan. I have visited local schools, and most of them are mixed. A couple of friends who wanted to send their daughters to girls-only schools had to search to find one, and had to go private. The majority of public schools are mixed, and the numbers are growing. This graph - http://www.law.tohoku.ac.jp/gcoe/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/gemc_01_cate4_2.pdf - shows the rise and fall in the numbers of single-sex public high schools since the end of the war; they've been declining since the late 1970s-early 80s. In more ways than one, Gakushuin (while I'm sure it's a very good school) is a bit of a fossil.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Back on topic please.

Oh where on earth to begin with this gem of a comment.

**However that being said, I don't think that either a "childfree by choice" career woman, OR a bunch or workaholic old men who have rarely seen their own kids while they are growing up, are the ones who should be having a conversation about working mothers and child rearing. Neither this woman or these men could be further from the realities of working mothers.

And as for the "infertility" speech she is giving us. She might want to bear in mind that fertility drops off a cliff after 35, and even more so after 40. Its not infertility after 35 - its biology. Its your body preparing for menopause. We should be encouraging women to have kids in their twenties and early thirties, not pouring money into (hugely unsuccessful) IVF for women in their 40s, just in a bid to get the population up.**

Do you know she is childfree by choice? Do you know she hasn't struggled with infertility issues for the better part of 10 years and it hasn't been working? Do you know she's met the man of her dreams and decided to ditch him because she's a workaholic women who decided, nah, better work than get married and have kids? Do you know she even likes men? You are making a lot of assumptions about this woman and many others that you don't know. Can I suggest that those women with kids have them becaue they clearly were missing something in their lives and thought a child would fill that void? Just as nasty and belittling as your comments to working women with no kids, no?

Do you know all those horrible FT working women out there with no kids have turned their back on what you think is right or perhaps is it because they are in very unstable working positions and wouldn't be able to have kids and maintain their job? They might not get mat leave (a huge issue when you think of contract and dispatch positions) and then without mat leave, they have no job and with no job, no daycare. No daycare, no job. See what an issue it is? And even if they get mat leave and keep their job, they might not get daycare because there is a serious lack of daycare in this country. Something this woman spoke up about. Have you ever thought that some of these reasons is perhaps why many of these women you are bashing are "childfree" and they are making difficult choices to hold off on having kids because at the moment they are not in positions to "have it all"? Any idea how many women in this country really want kids but can't for all the reasons I listed about? It seems you haven't. You seem to suggest they are childfree by choice - and make it seem like they are being rather selfish for not doing what YOU think they should do.This woman IS the perfect person to be speaking out about such issues because perhaps she is dying to have kids and a) can't for some health issue or b) is so scared of losing her job and being sacked (yes, it happens here) so is addressing the issue so it can be dealt with. Congrats on bashing her. And others like her.

And can you define "working mother" because the PT crew and the FT crew here are VERY different in terms of needs and issues. If you think a FT working mom has the time (and the education background) to be doing what this "child free woman by choice" is doing, I'd love for you to point out where these women are in the government because most get pushed out. If you a PT working mom has the same issues as a FT working mom, I think you need to get out more and speak to more FT working moms because they do not share the same concerns. A PT mom would certainly have more time to deal with such issues as dealing with the boy's club but do you think the boy's club is going to take "baito" mommy seriously? I doubt it.

As for your nasty comments towards women with fertility issues, why not reread what I wrote above. Not everyone mets their husband as 20 or 25. Not all are blessed with getting pregnant within the first few years of wanting a kid. Not all are blessed with stable jobs or a husband with a stable job. Congrats on proving the old "women are their own worst enemies". This woman stands up and draws attention to important issues women face here and you attack her and suggest she's not the woman for the job. Congrats. You're part of the problem as well.

The government should be pouring money into daycares and support for women who want both a career and a family but perhaps you missed her comments about that because you were too busy judging her on not being what you find suitable.

And why the nastiness towards who decide not to have kids who are trying to help those who do? Good lord. You'd think women here would be thankful to anyone who tries to raise issues and fights for women, be it mothers, "childless" or child free". Guess not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The boy's are pulling rank and protecting their own. No surprises here.

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/06/20/interview-female-tokyo-assembly-member-reflects-on-harassment/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Her slogans, are very good to prepare for Tokyo Olympics and increasing tourism. Abe will prefer her ideas Too bad she is not with LDP.

Refoorm of Tokyo Govt, Tokyo Assembly

Reexamine area sovereignty, prefecture system

Support Growth of children

Support Working Females

Support Aged People''

Aimed zero animal killing punishment'

Disaster Prevention Capital City Tokyo

Tourist Mecca Tokyo

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Since Japanese are keen on collective punishment, how about 100% salary cut for all LDP members until they reveal the culprits?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The heckler sabotaged Abe's effort to gain popularity by women, LDP should reveal his name. @Scrote; Longer LDP hide his name, more and more decreasing women supporters. I

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's just been reported that the request to identify and punish the LDP heckler responsible has been denied by the assembly chairman for " lack of evidence " WTF ...lack of evidence ??? There are recording of it on You tube...

If the chairman denies the request he should be bloody removed from his position along with the person who maded those disgusting jeers. How arrogant can those LDP oyaji dinosaurs get?....This is the Japan that is supposed to " make women shine". I have no words...sure hope that women ( and men ) of Japan will not let this one slide. This is 2014 FFS.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Cleo I think Toshiko is "old school" a supporter of LDP where he is so out of touch saying girls and boys are separated in schools. If they are it has to be one of those private schools for the privileged and that's where you would find the rank and file of LDP future members coming from.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

from latest interview - just her first comment

Ms. Shiomura: I stood at the center podium and started talking about the struggles of working mothers. Then, a male council member shouted out, “You're the one who should get married as soon as possible.” Instead of condemnation, a couple of other male council members made similar remarks, and laughter filled the assembly hall. My head went blank –- it was such an old-fashioned, blatant offence that even an elementary school child knows is wrong. As I continued to call for support for infertile woman, another male voice taunted, "{Can't you even bear a child?” Again, the assembly hall was filled with laughter and sneers of agreement. I felt alienated in such an old-fashioned environment where no one seemed to think these remarks were wrong. It was alarming that many male politicians ' understand the feelings of women needing assistance that I was speaking about. It’s unfortunate that such a childish incident took place in an official assembly.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

There are more she spoke up in interview I guess it was not only one heckler. Not just LDP bnly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Not just LDP only " It was reported that those voices came from the seats occupied by LDP members Toshiko.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"It was alarming that many male politicians ' understand the feelings of women needing assistance that I was speaking about."

Surely this is a misquote or mistranslation? I find it hard to believe Shiomura would say that.

Friday evening one TV news report said the heckling came from the area where top officials of the LDP assembly members sit. I sure wish whoever it was would be man enough to own up to their remarks. I think it would be acceptable for legislative body members to voice opposition to policy to a certain extent but this kind of personal attack is beyond the pale.

Thankful once again that my Japanese husband does not think or act like those politicians. My male Japanese co-workers were also disgusted by the low level of the heckling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is last part of her interview. Hecklers were LDP members. laughters were about everybody., Maybe these laughings encouraged more jeerings.

Q: Do you know who made the offensive remarks?

Ms. Shiomura: The jeering and laughter came from the section reserved for the Liberal Democratic Party. I submitted a request to specify and punish those who shouted the abusive words, but no one has come out to admit to it. The LDP didn’t deny the incident, but said there’s no evidence to punish anyone.

Q: Any message for Japanese women?

Ms. Shiomura: To change the reality for women in Japan, more female politicians are needed. Also, anyone can observe the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. Please come to make sure how the politicians you voted for actually behave in the political forum.

;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

It seems all LDP Assemblymen participated in jeering. I'd bet LDP has more Assemblymen than other parties in Tokyo assembly. It is about time Shimomura will be chosen to be the Chair of Assembly to replace current Chair who does not know how to sanction such despicable assemblymen, 127 members. 25 women, 122 men, Make sure heavy punishment to LDP assemblymen and then others who did not stop. I mean all others.

@Education60: I'd bet your husband is other kind of Japanese who are intelligent and gentle. ''

1 ( +1 / -0 )

this is 2014 and still the country think of women as second class citizens and are just reproduction factories!

But Japanese women are quite strong. At home, wives control family finances and their husbands.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

128 members. 102 men and 25 women in Assembly.

tinawaqtanabe is right, example. Age's wife. She commanded Abe to quit last time when he was PM and had stomach problem. He resigned very quickly. She was radio (TV?) announcer in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchiken before she married so she got Yamaguchi-ken woman;s tradition of making her husband henpecked.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

More needs to be cleaned up than the antics of a few loud mouth idiots. Creeps like these are legion in Japan. These are the sort of insecure clods who have embraced right wing bogus family values on one hand and the values of the whorehouse on the other. They cannot see women as independent human beings.

I note that the object of their ire is not only intelligent but also attractive. There is something about this sort of men who hates women like her. Why I do not know. Only I know thiey exist. My wife is an attractive and intelligent professional who has had to deal with men as crud as those mentioned in this article. They are arrogant but easily intimidated. So easily intimidated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Will Ripley of CNN, will have (or had) this as an topic for his CNN show. i will skip watching MLB games and watch how American react, etc.

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