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politics

Politician’s birthrate plan: Parents should nag their kids to have at least 3 babies

54 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On Wednesday, Japanese politician Yoshitaka Sakurada was attending a fundraising event held in Chiba City. However, while Yoshitaka, who serves as a member of the House of Representatives, was looking to boost his financial resources, he was also hoping that those in attendance could indirectly boost Japan’s sagging birthrate.

“The number of women who don’t feel a need to get married is rising,” the 69-year-old Sakurada said. “I would like to have you all ask your children, or grandchildren, to have at least three children each.”

The fact that Sakurada himself wasn’t volunteering to boost the birth rate, and was asking even his political supporters to pass the actual child-making/-rearing responsibilities off on others, wasn’t lost on angry social media users in Japan, with Twitter comments including:

“I’d like at least two kids, but I don’t have the money to raise them, so I’m tired of hearing people say things like that.”

“My spouse and I both already work to earn money to care for our aging parents whom we love, so even just being asked to have at least three kids too is exhausting.”

“Shut your mouth, Sakurada.”

“He doesn’t get it at all. It’s not like people aren’t having kids because they don’t want them. He doesn’t understand that in today’s world, it’s incredibly difficult from a financial, psychological, and energy standpoint to raise three kids.”

“Please make a society in which I can have three kids.”

Following the backlash to his baby-making plea, Sakurada offered a clarification on Thursday. “I made my remark as one way of dealing with Japan’s declining birthrate. I deeply desire for people to enjoy the happiness of having children. I wanted to say that it is important for us to create an environment in which it is easier to raise children,” Sakurada told reporters. “I had no intention of forcing parenthood upon others, or of hurting anyone’s feelings.”

Sakurada’s attachment to the larger family sizes of a generation ago perhaps aren’t so surprising. He is, after all, the same guy who felt no apprehension about being in charge of cybersecurity for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics despite, by his own admission, having “never touched a computer.” Still, a little firmer understanding of the lives of today’s young adults might go a long way in helping him form more effective strategies for boosting Japan’s birthrate than recruiting parents and grandparents to nag the country into having more babies.

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News/Sankei Shimbun via Jin, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- What do Japanese people think of their country’s low birthrate? 【Video】

-- Japan’s prime minister wants to make it illegal for parents to hit kids when disciplining them

-- Japanese advice columnist shuts down mother who doesn’t want to give son permission to marry

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

54 Comments
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“I’d like at least two kids, but I don’t have the money to raise them, so I’m tired of hearing people say things like that.”

“My spouse and I both already work to earn money to care for our aging parents whom we love, so even just being asked to have at least three kids too is exhausting.”

“Shut your mouth, Sakurada.”

“He doesn’t get it at all. It’s not like people aren’t having kids because they don’t want them. He doesn’t understand that in today’s world, it’s incredibly difficult from a financial, psychological, and energy standpoint to raise three kids.”

“Please make a society in which I can have three kids.”

Wow! The people have spoken! Japan is doomed!

3 ( +10 / -7 )

You can't force people to have babies - if people resent having them then imagine the problems further down the line. Scotland has the same issue... our birthrate is slowing. The solution is immigration - incomers and people working here from other countries are having babies... problem solved.

Only difference is that we welcome immigration in Scotland... Japan still has a bit of work in that area.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Oh dear... more advice from someone who wouldn't even know how to make a child...

oh and then you'll build enough daycare centers to accommodate all these children?

Thought not.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Oh this is the same guy who was in charge of cyber-security and never used a pc before so let's just ignore anything he says.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Now I understand why the government makes the decisions it does, "The law maker has spoken, do as he says". What does he have to do to be completely discarded? Oh he raises lots of cash. Got it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

hahahahahhahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha with what money am I supposed to raise one child, nevermind three?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

My two kids were born and raised in Japan, though both attended college in the US. My son works in Tokyo now but is looking at options in the US, and my newly-graduated daughter never considered moving back. I'm sure they'll both have kids, but probably not here.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Men and women from developed countries tend to think of their career, finances, hobbies, etc before having kids.

This trend is natural and won't reverse.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

With politician’s like this we really are doomed.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Nag their kids to make more?...I think there are reasons why Japanese aren't having children, nagging the youth to make more is not going to change anything.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Third one due in one month!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I had no intention of forcing parenthood upon others, or of hurting anyone’s feelings.”

Bull...you are just reacting to the backlash, like last time! You are one politician that should be let out to pasture. Wait, better idea, driven up into the mountains and left there to fend for yourself!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I don't think it takes big money to raise kids (despite what people say, most of the stuff kids want is not really necessary..), but it does take time. You can't expect people to have more kids if they stay at their jobs until late....

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I would like for sure a fourth one. I have additional bedroom already.

Problem is not finance. It is cultural : work and good behaviour is more important than sex and love.

You don't need to have last keitai and spend money on fashionable products or go to pricey Disney to "live".

Nothing better in the long term to have kids : they challenge you all the time.

Remember where you come from ;)

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

So you make all these babies, have a massive population again (with the consequent over use of resources and impact on the global environment), all the jobs will be done by machines and AI, so what are all these young adults of the future going to do?

Making policy looking backwards instead of forwards is a recipe for disaster.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The fact that Sakurada himself wasn't volunteering to boost the birth rate

He's 69 years old, he should be so lucky.

Maybe he should sponsor a few willing but financially stressed couples to have the extra kids. That'd show his commitment to the cause.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Sakurada himself can continue to churn out kids, Viagara is a good sponsor for him

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why is he even still a power position at 70?? How can a grandpa (because that's what you are at 70) who clearly has no competence for his job, still be allowed to be in the government? Why not just retire???

This is the problem with the world: old people (who of course have old-fashioned world views) being in control of governments, affecting people's future (but of course not their own, since they will die) and imposing their obsolete standards on young people.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Want to boost your country’s birth rate? It’s very simple. When people feel like they can actually afford things, have time for themselves, and properly take care of their family, they are more likely to have children. The current work economy does not provide any of these things to most workers so the birth rate will fall. Most people feel they can’t afford to take care of a family and/or they don’t have time to start/raise a family.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

So you make all these babies, have a massive population again (with the consequent over use of resources and impact on the global environment), all the jobs will be done by machines and AI, so what are all these young adults of the future going to do?

Making policy looking backwards instead of forwards is a recipe for disaster.

Well put. These dinosaurs with their outdated thinking will make sure we go the way of the dinosaurs.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What a sicko!

Wanna start special homes for special reproduction?

Reminds me of something 80 years ago.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Three babies? On the average Japanese salary? Sure, just downsize to a 1 LDK and forget about a car.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

What a fossil.

And despite the threat to the entire planet by overpopulation, he wants population growth in Japan. Why? Of course, to help pay off that massive debt he and his contemporaries so enjoyed running up. He had his good times, now he wants his kids' kids to pay for it.

Why is he even still a power position at 70?? This is the problem with the world: old people (who of course have old-fashioned world views) 

That's a pretty narrow minded view you are presenting yourself. There are people with stupid ideas in all generations. Even old fashioned ideas are found in all generations. 70 is not terribly old. But what's important is not age, but the mind and the ideas. Simply saying anybody over a certain age will have old fashioned world views is rather bigoted. One fossil does not make everyone the same age a fossil. Just like one 20-something idiot does not make all 20-somethings idiots.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

He is, after all, the same guy who felt no apprehension about being in charge of cybersecurity for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

This is just factually wrong. He was the minister in charge of cyber security (not just for the Olympics, for all of Japan) and he was also the Olympics Minister (in charge of the whole portfolio, not just cyber security). These were seperate positions he held, not one position.

Rocketnews is sometimes amusing, but shouldn’t be cited as a regular news source as they don’t seem to actually check their stuff.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The stupidity of Sakurada's comments are almost comedic. It's rather sad and frightening that we have such buffoons like him running the country.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The man's a fool.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Young adults look at the present world's condition and think is that what children really want?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

While I'm no fan of Sakurada, the fool that he is, what he says does makes sense. Unless Japan does something about its declining birthrate, Japan will have to rely on AI or immigration to solve its woes. Shrinking population does not bode well for Japan's economic future.

Is what he said viable ? Certainly not. But his comments reflect Japan's stagnating reality. Yes, some people may not be able to have three kids for whatever reason, low income, biologically unable to, a pain in the a.., etc.

Isn't that like me complaining that I can't be an Olympic runner just because a government bigwig declares that Japan needs more athletes ? And just because you "nag" your kids, grandkids to have kids, that doesn't mean that you have to take it personally. Get a life ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This guy is SUCH a loser. I think every time a politician makes this remark they should be forced to ensure that one child is paid for from that politician's pocket from birth through to university graduation. I bet they'd object to such a measure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Have 3 kids? On what salary? Many young professionals don't even make enough to rent their own place to live. Talk about detached from reality

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes, that is the solution we all were looking for. Keep nagging and if they don't do it, ground them for a month.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japanese women must stand up to the bullies. Too much sacrifices through history, end up with even more humiliations. No comfort to the smallness of Japanese men.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I like Hungary's idea: Women who have 4 or more children are permanently exempted from paying income tax.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Polygamy based on the man's income would be a workable solution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's your job to provide a friendly environment for people to have children, shut up and do your job Sakurada! Oh wait, you're part of the talk but do nothing LDP bunch, yeah.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Be more efficient in making children"

What an idiot trying to apply Toyotism to women!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just follow the USA GOP plan.

outlaw abortions

make birth control difficult to access

stick your head in the sand, so the problem goes away.

Wait a year - lots-o-babies!

Make financial incentives for the people you wish to have babies - tax reductions, rebates, lower-cost childcare, etc.

Problem solved, at least for Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Show me the money!

I already have three kids. Things were going okay until the oldest entered SHS. Then costs for all kinds of trips and applications and jukus exploded. It has strained my marriage maybe beyond repair. I am from the States and basically worked part time in high school and college and funded my own university expenses with scholarships and loans. Now, my wife expects me to pay everything for the kids at full cost with no loans and no financial aid. This is a huge and perhaps insurmountable cultural difference that you should be aware of.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Reckless tell your Mrs to get a job or if she has one, get a BETTER PAYING job...……… good luck tho!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Reckless, ask you kid once adult to become one.

I remember my Dad dropping me in an unknown city in an flat where I studied at my engineering school. My parents were paying the rent, nothing more. You learn very very fast then.

Even if I have the money, I wish to stay in France for that very reason that it is seen as a must to "educate" people, not the rich only.

My kids will learn how to manage themselves. My Japanese won't stop me.

It is the way to allow a better future for all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All he said was “I would like to have you all ask your children, or grandchildren, to have at least three children each.” He didn't say 'nag'. The headline is misleading.

Japan does have a serious demographic crisis. The worst sufferers may be the aged who will lack support and needed services due to a lack of tax paying working adults caused by the low birthrate. So of course a parent/grandparent can simply ask or suggest to thier kids/grandkids to have more kids in order to avoid the same difficulties in thier old age. It's common sense.

Three kids is doable and many working class people are having them, including myself and many I know. But of course for those who were asked, they can simply decline if it's too difficult. What's the big deal?

Typical stirring of controversy by the media. Spare us the virtue signalling outrage please.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

So of course a parent/grandparent can simply ask or suggest to thier kids/grandkids to have more kids in order to avoid the same difficulties in thier old age. It's common sense.

Maybe would be common sense if they didn't have a 3rd party called the government. Instead of helping their parents, the money goes to corrupt old fossils and their friends, and the parents get the scraps.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The good news is that Sakurada's generation is already in the waiting room and their time will soon be up. The bad news is that the present political stagnation, financial corruption and cultural inertia will continue to thwart the social changes necessary for the Japanese to deal with the daunting problems facing the country.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm in a similar situation to Reckless, in that I have three and the cost of them is slowly coming to the fore. We're in the countryside and I just continually point out to my wife that the other people around us are clearly getting help from grandparents.

Of the criticisms to Sakurada's comment "Please make a society in which I can have three kids.” strikes the loudest note with me. There are society-wide problems in Japan. Please do not think it is only daycare places. There are much longer-lasting and deeper problems for parents of school-aged children.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@commanteer

I agree that what you said is a problem. Nevertheless while having more children might help line the pockets of govt big wigs there is still a clear benefit to society and especially to ourselves, which is most important. I believe it is far more beneficial to me that I pay the price of having a few and in the future have them to care for me. My mom had a bunch and now she is reaping the benefits of all of them caring for her in her old age.

We ought to ignore the anti family, anti children controversy seeking media and look out for our own welfare. While of course is it purely voluntary, having at least two or three children contributes greatly to society, our own happiness, future welfare and is a lot of fun too. As I said, it's common sense and I have no problem with this politician suggesting to simply ask others to do so.

There are real financial and other challenges and it takes commitment and good planning. But it's worth it.

Maybe would be common sense if they didn't have a 3rd party called the government. Instead of helping their parents, the money goes to corrupt old fossils and their friends, and the parents get the scraps.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Concerned CitizenToday  09:13 am JST

I believe it is far more beneficial to me that I pay the price of having a few and in the future have them to care for me. My mom had a bunch and now she is reaping the benefits of all of them caring for her in her old age.

Sounds like a pretty mercenary attitude. If your kids asked you why you had them, would you tell them it was so they could look after you when you're older?

As I said, it's common sense...

Not for people who don't have the financial means to raise them properly.

...and I have no problem with this politician suggesting to simply ask others to do so.*

Even if he barely has a clue what he's talking about?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Obladi

I don't think it takes big money to raise kids (despite what people say, most of the stuff kids want is not really necessary..),

I guess your kids are not yet going to HS. I will be interested in hearing your view when they are.

When yiu have to pay for their train and bus commute, pay for juku, multiple Uni entrance exam each on average costing 35,000frs, monthly payments for their study trip abroad while at the same time you are required to pay high city taxes, pension etc all with an income that is not high and no help from a government that is not helpful but only taking from you that needs it most to those that don't need.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The policy they came up with is to nag.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The world needs fewer people, not more.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The world needs fewer people, not more.

So Japan should just shift people from overcrowded places, regardless of their old cultures? I'm curious if that is the suggestion?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Simon Foston

No I wouldn't. The reason we had them was to give them the chance to enjoy life as we do, and for us to experience the joy and fun of having them. I'm not gonna pressure them to do so, but them taking care of us in our old age is just the natural cycle of how when you give love you get it in return. Also as adult workers they are contributing thier skills, unique personalities and taxes to society. Thus infrastructure and medical services, etc. are provided etc. Win win for all.

Sounds like a pretty mercenary attitude. If your kids asked you why you had them, would you tell them it was so they could look after you when you're older?

The politician merely said 'ask'. We don't have to if we don't have the resources or don't want to. But there are plenty of people who can, and for them it's common sense that it's beneficial for them, thier kids and society.

Not for people who don't have the financial means to raise them properly.

We don't know him personally so how can we judge how much he does or doesn't know. But this particular suggestion of his, if followed, can bring great joy to many families who can afford it and benefit society. If you or others personally can't afford to or don't want to have at least three children that's perfectly fine with me. But please don't be negative towards his suggesting it and others, if they want to and can afford it, having three or more. That's his and our business.

Even if he barely has a clue what he's talking about?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Scrote

I find it interesting that those advocating for fewer births are all enjoying a life that they themselves are enjoying but want to deny others the same.

So you can enjoy the life that your parents gave you but other parents can't create more children to enjoy life also?

The world needs fewer people, not more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe it is far more beneficial to me that I pay the price of having a few and in the future have them to care for me. My mom had a bunch and now she is reaping the benefits of all of them caring for her in her old age.

@concerned citizen

Your mom's generation, and all those before it, didn't live in a time when plastic pollution is permeating even our cell walls, when marine life in the oceans was mostly gone, when radiation and other waste pollution permeated every corner of the planet, when virtually every species not on two legs is facing extinction.... I could go on.

The point is that even if what you say is true, and children do provide support for you when they have grown, the long term cost to humanity will be catastrophic. That's not a great trade-off for a comfortable retirement.

I don't want to spend my golden years sleeping under a bridge either, but the survival of our species is somewhat more important than even that. Too many people in the world.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@commanteer

plastic pollution is permeating even our cell walls

when marine life in the oceans was mostly gone

when radiation and other waste pollution permeated every corner of the planet

when virtually every species not on two legs is facing extinction.... I could go on.

While pollution is a problem that needs to be dealt with and minimized, it seems to me to be mostly serious in the large coastal cities. The globe is covered in vast swaths of virtually pristine nature. Eg the interiors of China, Russia, Africa, Canada, Australia, Norway, the oceans, etc, etc. Environmental problems, while serious in some areas are exaggerated by climate alarmists who want to control us. I believe are nowhere near as catastrophic as you described above.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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