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politics

Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop

103 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Last November, Kumamoto city councilwoman Yuka Ogata was at the center of a controversy when she brought her baby daughter to a session of the city assembly. Now, less than a year later, there’s an even bigger commotion stemming from an even smaller thing that her coworkers didn’t want her to bring to work.

On Sept 28, Ogata arrived at Kumamoto’s municipal assembly hall for a plenary session of the city council. As she approached the podium for her turn to speak, assembly chairman Shinya Kutuski, seated at the front of the hall, held up his hand and called out “Representative Ogata, wait. Do you have something in your mouth?”

Ignoring a snort of laughter from one of the other politicians, the 43-year-old Ogata politely replied “It’s a Ryukakusan cough drop,” being so thorough as to give the name of the manufacturer. At that, the hall was immediately filled with angry shouts of objection, including “Make her take out the cough drop!” and “Eating and drinking is against the rules!”

Ogata had been experiencing cold-like symptoms for the past few days, including a recurring cough. Figuring it would be best to take precautions against inconveniencing others with the noise, she’d decided to pop in a cough drop for the meeting. She also says that by that point she’d already heard other council members complain about her coughing, calling it “noisy.”

One could make the argument that even if your throat isn’t feeling the best, if you’re about to give a speech, it’s best to spit out the cough drop and try to soldier through. Of course, one could also take the stance that if someone’s throat is hurting, but they have a legitimate need to communicate (such as giving a speech regarding governmental affairs), then a lozenge is acceptable.

Regardless of which side of the debate you agree with, though, it’s really not something to get all that bent out of shape over, at least for reasonable people. Unfortunately, it seems that “reasonable people” and “members of the Kumamoto city council” were pretty much mutually exclusive demographics on that day. The other politicians found Ogata’s cough drop so disruptive that the scheduled proceedings were suspended while a Disciplinary Special Committee meeting was convened. This meeting took eight hours, despite the fact that the entire day’s plenary session was originally projected to wrap up in about 120 minutes.

Despite the shouted claim otherwise, it turns out there are no rules prohibiting members of the council from eating or drinking during sessions. There is, however a stipulation that members must “respect the dignity of the council,” and the committee decreed that Ogata was in violation of this regulation and thus must issue an apology. However, they didn’t want her to write it. Instead, the secretariat drafted an apology for her, then instructed her to read it to the rest of the assembly. Ogata disagreed, on the grounds that she didn’t want a statement crafted by someone else attributed to her, and instead explained that her throat had been in pain since a few days ago. This further upset the other council members, who then instigated a motion for Ogata to be removed from the meeting. Ogata was the only dissenting vote, with the rest of the council, including its female members, all voting to have her removed, and so she was.

As mentioned above, this was supposed to be a plenary session. In other words, all members were supposed to be in attendance. Nevertheless, once Ogata left the hall, the scheduled proceedings resumed, with the council voting on a 1.52-billion yen project related to repair and restoration work for Kumamoto Castle, as well as 62 other proposed bills.

Not even Kumamoto Mayor Kazufumi Onishi, who was in attendance, was willing to lend support to Ogata. “It’s unimaginable for a member of adult society to be using a cough drop during such proceedings,” Onishi said following the session. “It’s necessary for her to show recognition of her wrongdoing.”

Meanwhile, Ogata told reporters “I’ve been under the weather since a few days ago. I brought cough drops with me today so I wouldn’t burden my colleagues by coughing while speaking. I was not given the opportunity to explain my actions, and it’s regrettable that they chose to remove me.”

Sources: Sankei West via Jin, YouTube/rkknews, Huffington Post Japan

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

103 Comments
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Well it's certainly international news. CBC Radio did an interview, closing comments:

How have you been treated, because it is almost all men in the chamber, right? ... Do you think that this lozenge incident is because they don't like you there? 

Yeah, because I'm trying to change things there. There's so much pressure on me, they want to keep things the way they are, the way they have been. ... I'm trying to bring the change, that's why I'm treated this way. 

What are you trying to change in your city assembly? 

I'm trying to make it more relevant to people's lives. I want it to be more open to women, or people with disabilities, you know, more diverse people. I would like to make it more open to [the] public, so people can more easily participate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I cant change anything about the views of the Mayor and the  Kumamoto Council - but I can stop buying groceries from that prefecture from hereon. Sorry Kumamon, cant support your government.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

First a baby, who wants that!

I would imagine that most people would not want someone either male or female bringing a baby to their workplace.

There was a similar case in Germany.

http://www.newagebd.net/article/49581/german-state-assembly-ousts-mp-for-bringing-baby-in-chamber

It got virtually no attention in the international press whereas there were many reports of the Japanese case.

And, a recent case from Wisconsin.

https://www.wpr.org/eau-claire-city-council-bans-children-council-dais-following-breastfeeding-debate

Looks to me like the media has one standard for Japan and another for "Western" countries.

Further, when the German and US cases were taken up, they were seen, unlike the Japanese case, as representing local conditions, not national character.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hate to be that person, but....."first world problems" and obviously there are too.many councillors. So many they can waste time in this nonsense. Sack half.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Says a lot for the Politicians people voted for.... and this is what they do. But says a lot about some people in Japan who find fault with you for the smallest thing (in addition to being "Gaijin").

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Women's lib or not, these guys have it out for her. Period. As such, not it is THEM that should be gone. I mean, come on... a cough drop!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This story will be in the international press in a few days, giving Japan a deservedly bad reputation.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

wtfjapan

Couldn't have put it better.

well said.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

bringing babies to political proceedings or eating candy while public speaking just seems rude, especially for someone thats paid by the people to represent them out of our taxes ( paid quite well too )

bullying a local assemblywoman and kicking her out of the assembly for a cough drop, instead of just asking her to remove it before speaking. I propose that snoozing be banned next anybody caught snoozing should be removed from the assembly , not paying attention at all is far more disrespectful than a F cough drop. Ive experienced these old morons in the past the only way to put them in their place is to snap back twice as hard, makes them STFU really quick. RESPECT has to be earned its not a given just becuase your age is higher than somebody else. Intelligence, morals and talent is where people should sit in society not some outdated old farts that think they deserve respect becuase of how old they are.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder how the P.M. of New Zealand manages. 

The First Baby of New Zealand, who is 3 months old and still breastfeeding, travels with her mother and father, and Dad is the primary care giver.

At the UN recently, Dad held the baby while Mum did her PMy stuff.

His and the baby's travel expenses were paid for by the family; the PM did not demand that the government provide her with special childcare arrangements, nor did she insist on having the child on her lap when said special arrangements were not made. Seems she's a lot more sensible about the whole thing than Ms. Ogata.

There is no set plan, it's just whether or not she's getting enough sleep, where I am for feeds. They might be with us a lot, they might just be in the hotel.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/24/asia/new-zealand-ardern-baby-un-intl/index.html

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

For someone who lives in Kumamoto, what an embarrassment!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

thefritz said "...oh so pc JT lemmings...."

Not exactly sure which mob of lemmings you're referring to - more than one lemming meringue.

And while the focus by many on both sides of the lolly is on the act of speaking with a lozenge in your mouth, for me the really critical point is the manner and nature of the assembly.

Did the chairman address the situation with calmness, clarity and heaven forbid common sense? Did he for example say something along the lines of,

"Madame assembly woman, I believe it would be appropriate to remove whatever is in your mouth before giving your speech. I'm sorry you have a cough, but we will understand you more clearly. Thanking you for your consideration".

But no. Just gruff remarks with the howls and jeers and condescension of the truly "uncivil".

The farcical act of making a mountain out of a molehill (a gob-stopper out of a drop if you like) and then proceding to give their own act self-worth is pure vaudeville (with apologies to).

Pumped histrionics.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Ms.Ogata is an attention seeker. If not everyone, there is somebody in the room that has a feeling of discomfort too but try to behave and give consideration to others. She has a cough, that is pity, but she could have medicines to at least prevent frequent coughing. What she did is a proof that she want an unwanted attention.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

At first I thought, wha?

But upon considering, I can somewhat relate to the old codgers.

Listening to NHK emergency news translated to English by "professionals"

who mumble, speak incoherently, nasally, or in muffled, very low sound levels,

is infuriating.

This councilwoman seems to relish in being rude.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No one would attend a company meeting, a consultation with a client, or deal with a customer with a lozenge in his mouth. Why is she a heroine for showing immaturity and bad manners?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

She'll be back in a few months with another attention-getting ploy.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Who here has actually watched the video?

i don’t see her “sucking” on a cough drop. And when she spoke to that loudmouth you could she shifting around trying to dodge the cameras, she had no trouble speaking and was perfectly clear and understandable.

Some on her would think she was chewing on a chicken drumstick the way they are portraying it.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Sorry, but who makes a speech with a cough drop in their mouth?

I think she may have been trying to provoke a situation. That seems to be her claim to 'fame', ie, getting in the news.

And it works - just witness the overwhelming kneejerk response from the usual oh so pc JT lemmings.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

she could have temporarily taken the lozenge out of her mouth

Isn’t that what everyone here would do if they were going to speak to a group?

Am I wrong here?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

“It’s unimaginable for a member of adult society to be using a cough drop during such proceedings,” Onishi said following the session. “It’s necessary for her to show recognition of her wrongdoing.”

This is one of those lines that would probably be removed by an editor if used in a book or screenplay satirizing Japanese elites for being too unrealistic... and yet this is the Mayor talking.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

cleo - thanks for your comments.

You said - "...She says herself that it was a Ryukakusan cough drop - they're pretty large. I know I would have trouble speaking clearly with one in my mouth..."

Pretty Large??? Well I'm not getting into the logistics of sucking on a soother, but you originally stated "Gob-Stopper" and a ryukakusan is way, way off that size. I should know - as a teacher they're my #1 to go to for a dry throat as is the excellent ryukakusan powder for coughing. Point to all of this is simply - they're not that large at all, unless one has a very small mouth.

And re politician mothers and their babies in the chambers - I wonder how the P.M. of New Zealand manages. From all accounts she is commended from all sides of politics. And your point was - she is wasting / stealing taxpayers money. And I and others said LOL.

And I reiterate you do not know how ill she was. Simply, you don't. You said, she said, she had been feeling unwell. That is not a definitive report on her health. We are not privy to her actual state. If I took a day off for every time I had a sore throat, a sniffle or felt unwell, then my pay would see a severe cut. I think a majority of folks would be the same.

Anyway - good to hear your opinions, but nothing will change my opinion on this (with the knowledge we have) that this is nothing but an example of intimidation by a bunch of not-on-my-watch retrogrades.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Where were the adults that day?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

She's a pot-stirrer.

Maybe so. But they brought in the power mixer, and only succeeded in embarrassing themselves and their prefecture. They are indeed a bunch of fools that they are so easily moved to hysteria by one little pot stirring woman.

Many government bodies have pot stirrers. Generally, unless the pot stirrer has a great deal of public support, they fail and end up out of the loop because they have no allies and nobody will cut deals with them.

These people typify the small-mindedness of people who are dragging Japan into an early grave.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Imo this has nothing to do with Yuka Ogata being a woman but rather Japan's rigid mindset & thousands of silly, outdated, unnecessary 'rules' i.e “Eating and drinking is against the rules!”

A J friend of mine was recently reprimanded by a security guard for 'eating' a small mint in an office lobby. No difference between a tictac, a throat lozenge or a lobster thermidor i.e they're all 'foods' in their narrow-minded/rigid world. smh

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Patriarchy at its finest. Repugnant.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Ogata was the only dissenting vote, with the rest of the council, including its female members, all voting to have her removed, and so she was.

I've highlighted the relevant bits. Everyone voted against her - other women and all the political parties.

Japan isn't a one party state. If Ogata couldn't get a single councillor from a single party to even abstain, let alone vote against her removal, it's highly likely that she was deliberately causing trouble - probably hoping there would be some sort of punishment that would cause another social media storm.

If she really wasn't feeling well, she could have not attended that day. Or she could have temporarily taken the lozenge out of her mouth.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

"Are they kidding?"

Unfortunately, no.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many mothers can't afford to have their baby-sit, 100% of the time.

She isn't many mothers, she's an assembly member on a pretty good salary. The assembly sits 50 days a year, so she doesn't need child-care '100% of the time'. And at the time of the incident last year, she soon found 'a friend' to take care of the baby till the end of the meeting. It was grandstanding, nothing more.

Where does it say she was munching on a BIG piece of candy. Throat lozenges come in a variety of sizes from very small to large

She says herself that it was a Ryukakusan cough drop - they're pretty large. I know I would have trouble speaking clearly with one in my mouth. Picture here, scroll down a bit -

https://munesada.com/2015/11/09/blog-6506

not giving her 100% undivided attention to the job at hand she was stealing from the public purse which pays her. Based on a few moments of diversion. 

Looking after a 7-month old baby is not 'a few moments of diversion'. I've said it before, if it's possible to conduct business while looking after a baby, the nationwide child-care crisis could be solved in an instant by placing a working mother's baby on the lap of every politician and executive board member in the land.

Yes, the very idea is ludicrous

How do you know how ill she is?

From her own words, she says she had been feeling unwell for several days, and that she couldn't stop coughing.

Where again has she been disrespectful in viez of her condition ?

Thinking it's OK to address the assembly with stuff in her mouth.

where has anyone said that her being female gives her an excuse

The majority of posters seem to believe it's all about women vs old men. Would an old man with a cough drop in his mouth receive the same treatment? The Mayor says it's a question of what should be expected of a member of adult society, so hopefully, yes.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

It seems there are 5 female councillors in the Kumamoto Assembly, including Ogata. The other four seem to agree with the villainous oyajis that being female does not give a person an excuse to mumble her way through a public speech with a piece of candy in her mouth.

I will take a guess and venture out to say the 4 female members possibly voted with the oyajis in order not to become a target of their pettiness themselves in the future.

Where in the free world would a govt forum (public servants) close business over a cough drop - form a disciplinary committee that uses 8 hours of time (public money) to formulate a written apology that must be read out by the said cough drop user. Her own words are not enough - she must read the committees words.

For god's sake - where?

Fully agreed....Japanese " unique" culture of otaji powerhara on display at its finest.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

It seems there are 5 female councillors in the Kumamoto Assembly, including Ogata. The other four seem to agree with the villainous oyajis that being female does not give a person an excuse to mumble her way through a public speech with a piece of candy in her mouth.

I'm sorry, where has anyone said that her being female gives her an excuse to have a cough drop in her mouth? Also where does it say she mumbled? Or are you being facetious too?

I believe her argument is that sick people should be able to suck on cough drops when speaking so they don't cough because duh. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me, especially given the fact that these same people wailing about the cough drop were criticizing her for coughing earlier.

The only thing she has asked for (previously, not this incident) is to have day care or be allowed to care for her infant while she sat in the chamber. And surprise surprise, a council of 47 members of which only 5 are women not only said no, but has now launched a viscious vendetta against her that just makes themselves look like spiteful idiots.

But no, lets make this an issue about the need to protect city hall from cough drop sucking, because that is obviously more important than everything else going on in this ridiculous incident.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan is in big trouble if these neanderthal oyajis are ruling them. They should seek retirement as they are not doing any good for the country except being senile.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Interesting how some here see this woman as someone out to cause trouble. No wonder Japan has the unfortunate reputation as treating women as objects of derision and/or second class citizens.

More power to her, I say.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

How about sleeping in the diet during important debates?

Damn right. Great point!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Cleo, Wrong and wrong again :

You show up to work ready to work, not to baby-sit and not to spread your germs around.

Many mothers can't afford to have their baby-sit, 100% of the time.

You also know more than all of us that Japanese will always go to work except if on their death bed (My Japanese boss of 700 employees showed up several times with his mask, not because of allergies you know...)

If I remember well, she had a specific situation at the time she brought her baby. It was only once, not a provocative step ever. You want mothers to feel bad for being mothers ? So macho ! And this comes from the macho man I am !

The other four seem to agree with the villainous oyajis

You know why they did that : either they did not want the same fate as her and did not have the courage, that is all (The nail sticking out, you know). Or women who don't have kids blame women who have kids saying they can't have the cake and eat it. But children is not a business, it is life.

Where again has she been disrespectful in viez of her condition ? Please show me.

As explained by others, you can find for other people some petty reason for all them to be blamed if you look well enough...

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Cleo - interesting points.

However your use of the term "gob-stopper" is decidedly loaded and is entirely based on your own feelings rather than fact. In my world, gob-stoppers are BIG pieces of candy - like BIG. Where does it say she was munching on a BIG piece of candy. Throat lozenges come in a variety of sizes from very small to large - with the large ones being about 1/4 size of a gob-stopper. It is extremely easy to place a lozenge to the inside of ones cheek and continue to converse in a totally normal fashion. Gob-stopper - No.

You also intonated, that by not giving her 100% undivided attention to the job at hand she was stealing from the public purse which pays her. Based on a few moments of diversion.  The nodder-offerer, the toilet frequenter, the disinterested et al, have certainly cost society billions based on that premise.

And re staying home if you're ill. How do you know how ill she is? How??? Wow - all people who use a cough drop should stay at home. I hope you're not hinting she should go to the doctors (taxpayers money).

And imo this whole exercise smacks of bullying to the nth.

Where in the free world would a govt forum (public servants) close business over a cough drop - form a disciplinary committee that uses 8 hours of time (public money) to formulate a written apology that must be read out by the said cough drop user. Her own words are not enough - she must read the committees words.

For god's sake - where?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Noisy ojiisans.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

She brought the kid to work to show that if she can do it then anyone can.

The point being that no one can. You show up to work ready to work, not to baby-sit and not to spread your germs around.

she was making a stand for working mothers who can't afford the costs of childminding

No, she wasn't. She was backing up her own demand that the city provide child-minding facilities for her in the building, for an assembly that sits only 50 days a year.

I believe I saw two female faces other than Ogata in a crowd of 40-50 men

It seems there are 5 female councillors in the Kumamoto Assembly, including Ogata. The other four seem to agree with the villainous oyajis that being female does not give a person an excuse to mumble her way through a public speech with a piece of candy in her mouth.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

angry shouts of objection, including “Make her take out the cough drop!” and “Eating and drinking is against the rules!”

Damn senile oyaji dinosaurs...how about making the shouting and lauging like 5 year olds against the rules.

Definitely oyajis indeed. Instead of persecuting her for this, why don't they help her. A mother's work is hard enough as it is. I know this is no where near possible with these old timers, but I'm sure there is one old timer among the bunch who can help her kid. So much for being considerate and helpful. Any they want to encourage a higher birth rate in Japan? Give me a break!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How about sleeping in the diet during important debates?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@AlexEinz

oh and others, trying chewing a gum at an office meeting... or candy.. see how fast you will be told off... its extremely rude.

I do it all the time. Relaxes me and helps me focus more.

Nobody has ever noticed or ever will because it's very subtle.

Ogata was probably caught popping it in her mouth and that bootlicker wen't and dobbed her in it with the chief oyaji.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@cleo

As a council member, she earns enough to be able to pay a baby-sitter.

Can't you see or refuse to see that she was making a stand for working mothers who can't afford the costs of childminding?

Of course she can afford it. She brought the kid to work to show that if she can do it then anyone can. Unfortunately (and shamefully) it backfired on her.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I sympathized her the first time with the baby but it seems she is really provocative type!

8 hours? Couldn't she spit the pill, caugh a few times (take a little watter while taking breath) say sorry and finish it quickly!?

No! She seems quite a stubborn ....

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Yes it is a cough medicine but if she'll give a speech, she should take it out of her mouth first. Who wants to listen to a speech with chomping sound magnified by a microphone.

We teach kids not to talk when their mouth is full, so...

Must be a massive cough drop for her mouth to be full!

Who wants to hear someone hacking and coughing through an entire speech. It;s not like she was chewing gum or finishing her lunch. It's bloody medicinal. This is so terribly obvious that it is simply an excuse by which the old boys can bully her.

"Oh, the foes will rise

With the sleep still in their eyes

And they'll jerk from their beds and think they're dreamin'

But they'll pinch themselves and squeal

And know that it's for real

The hour when the ship comes in"

The world is watching

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Evidence, please. Do you have links to video showing the male members of the Kumamoto Assembly engaging in the practices you describe?

> No, didn't think so.

> You accuse them of petty spiteful vendettas against a person obviously out to push against the boundaries, while yourself indulging in petty, spiteful libel against people you know nothing about save their gender and supposed age.

No, I was being facetious with that comment. I thought that was obvious. I have never seen a Kumamoto city councilor nap or look at porn. My point was that if they are going so far as to treat a sick person sucking on a cough drop so she doesn't cough while speaking as a major incident worthy of a significant amount of the council's time, I am sure that anyone who wanted to look could find something equally petty to hold against everyone else in that chamber (not necessarily napping or looking at porn).

I'm not saying the other members of the assembly are all paragons of virtue, but if they do engage in practices that disrupt/disrespect meetings or waste taxpayers's money, too wrongs don't make a right. They should be censured for those practices, as Ogata should for hers.

Or perhaps we could just dispense with the need to censure people for petty, frivolous reasons? Might be a better way to do business.

Note too that all the other female members of the assembly voted for Ogata to be removed. It doesn't seem to be the male-vs-female clash that Ogata and many posters here would have us believe it is.

I believe I saw two female faces other than Ogata in a crowd of 40-50 men. Also, while cough drop sucking is gender neutral, child rearing is overwhelmingly a female obligation in this country which the male-dominated organization in question has no regard for. You would have to be blind to miss the male-female power imbalance at work here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

oh and others, trying chewing a gum at an office meeting... or candy.. see how fast you will be told off... its extremely rude.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I totally agree with you Cleo, she is trying to whip up a storm and using her offspring for it too.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

*Given the fact that about half the elderly male politicians at these meetings are usually napping and the other half surfing porn on their phones*

Evidence, please. Do you have links to video showing the male members of the Kumamoto Assembly engaging in the practices you describe?

No, didn't think so.

You accuse them of petty spiteful vendettas against a person obviously out to push against the boundaries, while yourself indulging in petty, spiteful libel against people you know nothing about save their gender and supposed age.

I'm not saying the other members of the assembly are all paragons of virtue, but if they do engage in practices that disrupt/disrespect meetings or waste taxpayers's money, too wrongs don't make a right. They should be censured for those practices, as Ogata should for hers.

Note too that all the other female members of the assembly voted for Ogata to be removed. It doesn't seem to be the male-vs-female clash that Ogata and many posters here would have us believe it is.

@Cleo , surprised by your point of view, normally so progressive and enlighted.

"Women can do anything they like just because they're women' is just as backward and ignorant as 'Women should be pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen'. It's people like Ogata that put the cause of gender equality back, by demanding for women privileges that are not accorded to men, young Jonathan.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

There is no indication she w1nted to be disrespectful.

The assembly chairman willingly pointed it, without any reason, to make her explain the cough drop.

Cough drop is light medicine and as many commenters who are NOT IGNORANT, you can talk and keep that drop on the side of the mouth withlut maning any noise. Respect was there.

I always point it out if women are taking advantage of their gender. Here, it was clearly to shame her.

@Cleo , surprised by your point of view, normally so progressive and enlighted. You are getting old ! (with all due respect).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Educator 60

Marcekito, “NZ Prime Minister who was nursing her baby in the UN assembly last week in front of the shocked Japanese delegation”

I believe that was a diaper (nappy) change, not nursing.

You are quite right.. by "nursing .I meant attending to her baby ...happy to be corrected.

Regardless ...wonder what the Kumamoto assembly oyajis have to say about the NZ Prime Minister,s behaviour...:-)

9 ( +9 / -0 )

As a council member, she earns enough to be able to pay a baby-sitter to cover the time she is supposed to be attending the assembly. Instead she decided to stir the pot and show her contempt for the people she is supposed to be working for (the general public) by taking the infant to work with her. If she is attending properly to the infant, she is not paying full attention to the assembly meeting = a salary thief. If she is paying full attention to the assembly meeting, she is not attending properly to the infant = poor parenting.

Thank you so much for bringing this shocking case of salary thieving to our attention. its an absolute abomination. Given the fact that about half the elderly male politicians at these meetings are usually napping and the other half surfing porn on their phones, we need councilors like her to spend every second attentive to the proceedings and not holding a baby or having her baby in day care. She also has a duty to provide a useful distraction for the old boys, who can whip out their binoculars and look for anything that could even remotely be interpreted as offending the public institution they represent, like sucking on a cough drop or having an ugly color of nail polish or something like that. Otherwise they would have nothing to distract them from napping and porn, which would be very detrimental to government business. Those guys know exactly how to use taxpayer money efficiently and it is not to be spent on child care or allowing people with colds to have cough drops, it is to be spent on petty, spiteful vendettas against women.

I mean, just think of the chaos that would ensue if she got her way. Day care at work? Not getting hassled and the workings of a city government not being brought to a complete standstill over a cough drop? No thanks, that would be the end of civilization as we know it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Marcekito, “NZ Prime Minister who was nursing her baby in the UN assembly last week in front of the shocked Japanese delegation”

I believe that was a diaper (nappy) change, not nursing.

I couldnt get get the video to play yet so haven’t watched it yet and don’t know how noisy this cough drop was. But I do know from experience that it’s very possible to have a small cough drop in the mouth while speaking without audible sucking noises, crunching, etc.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

“Make her take out the cough drop!” and “Eating and drinking is against the rules!”

Usually "No Eating" consists of food. Cough candies are hardly considered food. These muppets all just want to create a scene to bully this woman who stood up for herself as a woman. More power to her.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I don't get all the 'women's lib gone mad' comments on this thread.

Because she's a woman, she should be allowed to get away with anything?

As a council member, she earns enough to be able to pay a baby-sitter to cover the time she is supposed to be attending the assembly. Instead she decided to stir the pot and show her contempt for the people she is supposed to be working for (the general public) by taking the infant to work with her. If she is attending properly to the infant, she is not paying full attention to the assembly meeting = a salary thief. If she is paying full attention to the assembly meeting, she is not attending properly to the infant = poor parenting.

Speaking to a gathered assembly with a gob-stopper in the mouth is very bad manners, male or female. Being female should not give her (or any other woman) carte blanche to be disrespectful.

Ogata told reporters “I’ve been under the weather since a few days ago. I brought cough drops with me today so I wouldn’t burden my colleagues by coughing while speaking.

If she's ill, she shouldn't be at work at all. Unless she's quite happy to burden her colleagues by passing on whatever bug or virus she has to everyone else in the room.

The Guardian quotes her as saying, “They felt bad that their outdated attitudes had been exposed and criticised in public. Ever since then, they have tried to portray me as someone who behaves selfishly and unreasonably.” Sounds to me like she's doing that all by herself.

Also, “A lot of the people have misunderstood this as an issue related to my behaviour, which is how it has been reported in the media,” she said. “This is part of a struggle between me and other councillors, most of whom are older men, to make the council more relevant to the everyday lives of ordinary people.” It is absolutely all about her behaviour. Ordinary people (sensible ones) in their everyday lives stay at home when they are ill. Especially if the working environment includes a significant number of older people who may be more susceptible to infection. Cough drops while speaking is nothing more than virtue-signalling - Lookit me, how hard-working I am, struggling to work even when I'm unfit.

She's a pot-stirrer.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

You know it is possible to put the candy or gum for that matter to the side of your mouth and still be able to speak without any problem. Either before or after her speach, someone perhaps saw her shift it in her mouth or maybe even put it in and then called her out.

Remember...these old dudes were watching every move she made to stick it to her at any and every opportunity.

OK, I get that it could be rude to eat and talk. But she had already been pulled up for coughing. What was the poor woman supposed to do??

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Abe, Shinz where are you? Isn't this exactly what you talked about?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Really hope this story will make international headlines to once again highlight the attitude of those vengeful, senile idiots ....and hope that someone NZ Prime Minister who was nursing her baby in the UN assembly last week in front of the shocked Japanese delegation ( how priceless was that ) hears about her story and gives her some exposure next time a J-politician aka Abe or Kono blab about their fake Womenomics achievements.

Hopefully at the next local Kumamoto council election, she gets re elected with an increased vote and the most spiteful twits in their  ASSembly get kicked out.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

although its obvious they are seeking her out, not sure what it has to do with women specifically.

bringing babies to political proceedings or eating candy while public speaking just seems rude, especially for someone thats paid by the people to represent them out of our taxes ( paid quite well too )

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Why are women in Asia treated like third hand citizens?

Are you suggesting that the men are allowed to give a talk at this conference with a lozenge in their mouth?

It's fine to have a lozenge before and after your turn to talk, but not during.

Having said that, watching the video I felt there was a grade-school atmosphere in the room.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Could be progressive, could be forward looking or could be a woman who did nothing more than live in the 2000s. When will the tax payers actually want some serious people making serious decisions for them. For gods sake these overpaid old men need to retire. They have the cash? If they don't really should not be decision makers. Sit at home and rule what's in arm reach, let others make the decisions that enhances other people's lives.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The video really is excruciating to watch. Its just bullying, plain and simple. I already had immense respect for Ogata after her earlier run in with these morons, and this has made me double down on that.

That sigh she utters in the video deserves particular attention - its a symbolic utterance of the exasperation so many women (and young people in general) must feel every day in this country when working with or under jackasses like that.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

So what’s next?

kicking her out for sneezing or yawning?

is this all retaliation for her bringing her baby into the meeting.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Be honest guys. You don't think she (a woman) should, or is able to make sound legislation. You believe it's a "mans" domain and women should be at home raising the kids and having your supper on the table for when you get home.

Force this woman out and you may find this really is the situation.

And the world view on a progressive Japan will be put back 70 odd years.

Not that you lot care...You'll all be in a box soon..

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Coughing = bad

Using a cough drop = bad

Heads, I win. Tails, you lose.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I give her credit she truly outnumbered by a pack of hungry wolves.

You go girl!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Really, cough drops are food? I can just image school lunches consisting of a 24 pack of cough drops.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I hope these oyajis get berated online for what they did. If there's one thing Japanese truly hate, its being roasted by the population. Seriously, first was the terminator-esque lifestyle of J-cops being and compared to the Starbucks-sipping police in Canada, next was a city hall employee who received tons of flak just because he took his lunch just minutes before. Seriously Japan, why so uptight? loosen up that noose a little

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Sad. Too Sad.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This is news. This is why Japan is screwed. The news doesn't report things that actually matter.

The fact that the nation's political institutions are run by a bunch of cranky, senile, spiteful old men who have no problem wasting taxpayer time and money on petty, sexist vendettas doesn't matter?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@Dadude

Funny...and so true.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Please tell me this did not really happen.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@ wallace fred...Don’t judge entire continent on one incident. And getting above ignorance is fun too buddy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You are not supposed to use a cough drop, you are supposed to clear your phlegmy throat with the loudest sound possible. Those old guys can teach you the way since they do it in public daily.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Just a revenge attack for bringing her baby into the chambers. I agree she should not have attempted to make a speech with the cough drop in her mouth, but the reaction from the other members and her punishment is absolutely ridiculous. These pathetically juvenile oyajis have had it in for her since the baby incident and have just been waiting for a chance to bully her again.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yep.

Just watched the video a few more times. When the camera zooms in to the "politician" who shouts at her and appears to shirk from the cameras...it is one of the dudes who were learing at her in that photo JT showed during the baby issue.

He obviously has it in for her.

Vote this chauvanistic fool out!

17 ( +18 / -1 )

This woman is just brilliant in exposing how narrow-minded people are in our government. They should focus on the things that matters, not a damn cough drop.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

This story has now gone globally viral.

Every year the Japanese govt and institutions spend hundreds of millions of dollars on propaganda yet in the space of a few hours, the neanderthal behaviour of throwbacks like these clowns negates all that PR. What's wrong with these people? Why can't they see that their behaviour is unacceptable?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow, just wow! Mind numbingly STUPID beyond belief!

With idiots like this running Kumamoto that area of Japan is clearly subject to more disasters, disasters of COMMON SENSE!!

This is one of those it is embarrassing to be living in Japan days.....

I mean dumber than dumb just comes across as a HUGE compliment to these dead beat idiotic oyaji in Kumamoto!!

The spiral down continues unabated!

11 ( +13 / -2 )

WTF is wrong with these people? Seriously. This adherence to stupid, pointless, outdated rules is one of the major stumbling blocks for Japan to truly join the global community.

Traditional ceremonies, dress, art, music, food, etc are all wonderful traditions to be celebrated and encouraged. But, nonsense like this, or "no women on the dohyo", or "no tattoos in the ofuro", etc are all just a steaming pile of nonsense.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Yikes! Japan is screwed!

Really hope more women will run for office and drag Japan into the 21st century.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Ignoring a snort of laughter from one of the other politicians,

Seriously, is this kindergarten? I bet as a group they feel really tough. Bunch of losers.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

angry shouts of objection, including “Make her take out the cough drop!” and “Eating and drinking is against the rules!”

Damn senile oyaji dinosaurs...how about making the shouting and lauging like 5 year olds against the rules.

It is telling that the world media reported on the Japanese delegates to the UN walking in and seeing the NZ Prme Minister with her newborn baby in the proceedings.

Japan embarassingly stuck in the ice age once again.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

This is news. This is why Japan is screwed. The news doesn't report things that actually matter.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Having just watched the video...these old fools obviously have it in for her for making them look foolish over the baby issue.

Here they are shouting out like kids in the playground.

They were just waiting for something, anything to stick the boot into her.

Shameful acting from people who are supposed to represent us.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Yes it is a cough medicine but if she'll give a speech, she should take it out of her mouth first. Who wants to listen to a speech with chomping sound magnified by a microphone.

Thank you forbeing the first to breach the real topic of concern that thus article has highlighted but nobody else had the guts to confront head on: speaking and having a cough drop at the same time.

Clearly this is an issue so important that it makes perfect sense to have a couple dozen city councilors spend eight hours working out a proper form of shaming to inflict on the perpetrator. Taxpayers aren’t paying them big bucks to let stuff like this slide after all.

This absolutely was not petty or idiotic or spiteful behavior by a bunch of vain, out of touch old men, no matter how much it might seem like that to everyone else on the planet. This was city council serving the interests of the good people of Kumamoto the only way it knows how.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

I’ve never been to Kumamoto City or Prefecture, but I like Kumamon and some of their food products, and I had a lot of sympathy for the area after the earthquake, so made donations and extra efforts to buy their products. That city assembly though is causing me to have less of a desire to do so.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

I suppose the reconstruction/recovery effort from the earthquakes must be going smoothly if they have enough time to waste on trivialities like this.

The repairs to the castle walls alone are slated to cost in the region of 600 million USD. That is for a stone base sitting under a 1960s concrete replica, which itself will need replacing in the coming years. With lots of earthquake-damaged hillsides and riverbanks to reconcrete, these people are swimming in national taxpayer money. You would think they could spend it with a bit more decorum.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yes it is a cough medicine but if she'll give a speech, she should take it out of her mouth first. Who wants to listen to a speech with chomping sound magnified by a microphone.

We teach kids not to talk when their mouth is full, so...

-15 ( +8 / -23 )

Looks like the old boys have painted a target on her back for making them look bad last year.

“出る釘は打たれる”

Hammer the nail that sticks up.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Embarassingly spiteful. Whats this nonsense going on there? Must be a very unpleasant place to work.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

This is ridiculous...

Talk about “respect the dignity of the council”, but how many of these fossils are regularly sleeping while on attendance, I wonder ?

20 ( +24 / -4 )

Why are women in Asia treated like third hand citizens? Seriously!

14 ( +20 / -6 )

First a baby, who wants that! now a lossinger? This woman is smashing the rules. It's one thing to be a highly paid politician quite another to be human. Those lossinges are so disrupfull during serious discussions.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I swear these politicians make Trump look statesmanlike.

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Japan Today. This news is interesting. Thank you so much.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

@ Vince Black

hasnt she stirred the pot enough? Sounds like a troublemaker

Unless I'm much mistaken - and I don't think I am - at least 8 people don't fully understand the true beauty of sarcasm here...

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Ms. Ogata, hang tough, take them on, go international, TAKE them to COURT!

14 ( +20 / -6 )

Pathetic, old men losing the plot.

27 ( +33 / -6 )

Next election, the local electorate should vote out all the incumbents that were at this meeting.

31 ( +33 / -2 )

Asinine, just plain asinine!

29 ( +30 / -1 )

hasnt she stirred the pot enough? Sounds like a troublemaker

-45 ( +9 / -54 )

Bullies, no wonder Japan is doomed with the current government.

38 ( +40 / -2 )

Ah! The I am older so I know better justification appears again. So people in Kumamoto, how do you feel about these people running your city disrespecting a fellow councillor? Even if others felt disrespected is it OK to disrespect the person back? Not in my books.

27 ( +28 / -1 )

Are they kidding?

38 ( +39 / -1 )

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