Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai Photo: REUTERS file
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LDP wants more women at meetings, but only if they don't talk: Nikai

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By Ju-min Park and Chang-Ran Kim

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hang on, I think it means because they aren’t unelected, they can’t talk. He’s actually changing the law so five unelected women can now join the meeting, so the title is misleading, he is trying to make a change

-14 ( +18 / -32 )

LDP wants more women at meetings, but only if they don't talk: Nikai

Laugh out loud! If a politician said this in a modern country he could face jail.

25 ( +39 / -14 )

Great. After reading just the headline and hoping it is true, I conclude that this is the end of Nikai.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

"I think it's probably time to be asking questions as to why it is that we feel that men in their 70s or 80s are able to fulfill these roles better versus a man in their 40s or 50s, or a woman,"

36 ( +40 / -4 )

Is this "change" or movement that is trying to get going here in Japan really brought on by local criticism from Japanese women? Serious question, asking because all my wife's friends don't see what the fuss is about, they know how things are here and don't seem too put off by it, kind of accept it. They all said they were happy with how things are, men doing men things and women doing women things. Yes sounds sexist I agree, but at least in our local circle, none seemed too bothered about it, so wondering if this push for change is really from here or more a push from the international community because obviously in other Western countries more changes have been made to include and promote women to do bigger and better things than in many Asia countries. Just wondering??!

1 ( +9 / -8 )

82 is pretty young for a senior LDP member. Couldn't they find an older man?

47 ( +51 / -4 )

It is not sexism that is deep rooted in the society it is discrimination and prejudice.

Sexism is just one of the expression of a value that is fundamental to Japan.

Just look at the articles about Korea, most posters are unable to develop a minimum of critical thinking just because "it is koreans".

10 ( +19 / -9 )

And this is called "Damage Control",

Try again.

27 ( +30 / -3 )

This so-called civilized country is a joke. The amount of social violence against women is mind blowing.

14 ( +25 / -11 )

Brass Eye.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

but can submit opinions separately to the secretariat office,

...but which will never come into consideration.

Sorry but I had to laugh again when I read the headline of this article...

...I also had to laugh when I heard about what that Olympic old fossil said.

Comments like that form old japan politicians, I can not take serious.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

Mandatory retirement at 60 and rehired to 65 should apply ten years earlier to elected officials. Make it 50, and rehired to 55 and then bye bye.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

I swear- those LDP guys make Trump and his administration look positively presidential

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Roughly translated: “*We’ve installed a “Suggestion Box” (over the paper shredder) for your opinions.*

26 ( +28 / -2 )

It's funny how these so-called men feel so powerful in the political and corporate world, but become wimps when they go home.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Also making the rounds on social media were comments by Kengo Sakurada, head of a powerful Japanese business lobby, who said Japan's glass ceiling was "partly women's fault".

Classic blame the victim line from Sakurada, who just happens to be Chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives. These jokers managed to keep their mouths shut while Abe was in charge, but since he quit again it's a free for all.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

What he forgot to mention is that men are not encouraged to speak either.

The nemawashi takes place beforehand; in the meetings they all sit in a stony row with their paperwork in front of them, ready to rubberstamp the proceedings. Anyone who talks is disliked, as it prolongs the meeting.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

They said senile comes as one ages well at looking towards Toshihiro Nikai, the party's 82-year-old secretary general, said that he heard criticism that the party's board is male-dominated, but added that the board members are elected. the party's 82-year-old secretary general, said that he heard criticism that the party's board is male-dominated, but added that the board members are elected they can easily all be un-elected out the door too. At that age these old antiques need to be teaching the 35 and up group vs getting a salary they don't need and sleep thru most meetings. Women are not as naive as these relics think or rather don't think.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The LDP is unfit to govern.

22 ( +23 / -1 )

LDP wants more women at meetings, but only if they don't talk: Nikai

What's the difference between him and Mori, who said the fewer were women, the better a meeting would be.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Nikai at 82 is another dinosaur that should be put out to pasture and make way for some younger politicians..and take Aso with him also.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

If the LDP want to continue into the future as the dominant party, they need to get rid of old baggage like Nikai, Aso, Mori. etc. This is 2021 not the Showa era.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

These dinosaurs have spent all their life in their circle that they think what they do is very special. They think ordinary people won't be able to do what they do, that's why they want them to observe.

Dinosaurs should just disappear. They've withheld progress for Japan for too long. Little do they know that it's not them, but their parents, that brought progress to Japan in the first place.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@ Bush

Respectfully, you seem to missing the point entirely just as Nikai is.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

An additional 5 female observers may join, however since they are unelected, they are not entitled to speak as the meeting is only for elected officials.

Elected by who?

Other LDP dinosaurs, is my guess.

The five ladies who will magnanimously be allowed to sit at the back of the room with duct tape over their pretty little mouths are lawmakers, ie elected representatives of the people.

Let them speak.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

They don't get it and never will. The only good news is they are already geezers so not long to go.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It's not what he said. It's how he said it and how it sounds in the end. Now it's just like Mori before and it doesn't matter how he maybe meant it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Maybe this is why Japan never progress.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Also making the rounds on social media were comments by Kengo Sakurada, head of a powerful Japanese business lobby, who said Japan's glass ceiling was "partly women's fault".

This guy and Nikai are the Japan Inc. axis of entrenched privilege.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think there is a lot of misunderstanding here. I’d like to see the direct quote in Japanese before I will make judgements.

sorry, don’t trust the media.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

It's no wonder Mori didn't understand all the hoopla surrounding his comments several weeks ago - they think the same.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I think women should just agree to this demand and once approved for a meeting, every time they actually wanted to say something just start singing it out. Three things served then: Speaking out, nor breaking the rules and most importantly getting on the others nerves that demanded the no speaking rule in the first place. Honestly I think it's time for the opposition to take over once again.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Here you go, stickman1760, from the Yomiuri: https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/20210216-OYT1T50280/

To a degree, you are right.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's like you know the next step you take is into a deep bog or marsh, but you still walk into it nonetheless.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Think about all the wasted talent.

Women who would otherwise make a real contribution to Japan and it's economy are forced by the wayside because they're not taken seriously.

How many young women are traumatized by this way of thinking and end up a housewives instead of pursuing a career?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

cleoToday  05:28 pm JST

The five ladies who will magnanimously be allowed to sit at the back of the room with duct tape over their pretty little mouths are lawmakers, ie elected representatives of the people.

Let them speak.

Even better, elect some of them to the board. Then again, as it seems to be people like Yuriko Koike, Anri Kawai and Tomomi Inada who do well in the LDP I'm not sure it would make much of a positive difference.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Never liked Nikai. As an 82 year old very rich powerful man, I would imagine as the norm, he frequents hostess bars.

could you imagine having to tend to his needs? Or the other over 80 groups.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Japan is ranked 121st out of 153 countries on the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Gender Gap Index - the worst ranking gap among advanced countries - scoring poorly on women’s economic participation and political empowerment."

And it's only getting worse. Japan just does not learn -- and when it's pointed out, people just get defensive and more obstinate about change.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I think it's probably time to be asking questions as to why it is that we feel that men in their 70s or 80s are able to fulfill these roles better versus a man in their 40s or 50s, or a woman,"

Obviously they aren’t.

The reason it happens though is because these 60-80 years olds grew up in a culture where their voices largely weren’t heard because they were younger than the previous 60-80 year olds who were in charge. They did their time of subservience therefore now they feel entitled to their turn. And on and on it goes.

When you silence the younger generation for the sole reason they aren’t older, and make them wait until they are older before allowing them ‘power’, then there’s no surprise they aren’t going to suddenly defer the power they’ve been waiting for to the younger generation now.

There needs to be a cultural and political revolution of sorts in this country. Until that happens, nothing is going to change.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

A website that caters to 95% foreigners, myself included, and even has tons of foreign writers and you see the majority of comments are from foreigners and we are supposed to believe that this represents the real opinion of what the Japanese are feeling and thinking about the state of affairs?? Lol don't think so, but provocative headlines are easy click bait and arouse all these opinions as to how things are or should be here, the media are genius LoL. If nothing else I guess you could argue this is just a forum for people to voice their opinions, I'll take it as that I guess.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Hahahahahaha!!!! They have taken it to another level!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The graves and the power ojis...the ones past away seem to much sway hereabouts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Old japanese politicians proving once again that they're a cancer on this society! Good job.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

But it is important for the party's female members to "look" at the party's decision-making process, he said.

"It is important to fully understand what kind of discussions are happening. Take a look, is what it is about," Nikai said at a news conference late on Tuesday.

Eh? This sounds very much like a command a drill sergeant would make when training recruits! Nikai needs to go as well because what he said too is discriminatory and he doesn't know. Accountability, please.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Roblib - the majority of comments are from foreigners and we are supposed to believe that this represents the real opinion of what the Japanese are feeling and thinking about the state of affairs??

I agree this comment section is targeted at English-speaking people, but with Google Translate in a home browser can quickly translate all the comments into Japanese within a few seconds. There probably are many non-English speakers taking a look too.

Sharing and actively looking for ideas is the first step to improving inclusiveness in society. I think that is one of the main reasons why we are all here commenting.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Burning Bush wrote:

Seems that everybody fell for the provocative yet deceptively misleading headline.

He actually said:

An additional 5 female observers may join, however since they are unelected, they are not entitled to speak as the meeting is only for elected officials.

Come on people, grow up and read past the fishhook headline.

This would be the same in the Senate, in the Houses of Parliament, and even a court of law. If anybody and everybody were able to speak, it would be bedlam.

The person who thought up this headline is a troll and is working on an agenda.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Our company has the typical Japanese system of stripping managers of their titles when they reach a certain age, and at has at least paid lip-service to the idea of promotion by merit rather than age or length of service. In other words, pretty slow to change and paying too much out for mediocrity. Particularly skilled members of the upper echelons are kept on as advisors, while all the chocolate teapots get thrown out.

If the LDP followed this very typical Japanese model, there would be almost no members over 65. We would still have the mediocrity problem, but this outdated system would improve the LDP no end.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I think the headline here by JT is misleading.

They want to allow female observers in, then fine. But as observers, they're not expected to participate. That's the same with any occupation or setting.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Unless Women stand up and be counted, Women role in society will forever be a decorative irrelevance, destined to be bare foot and pregnant.

Where is my machine gun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Osaka Doug yes I agree with you and with many of the comments here too, just wondering if it's falling on deaf ears since the change needs to want to happen organically from the Japanese themselves, not because foreigners and foreign press say it should. I'm only speaking from a small group here but not a single mom friend of ours, who are all Japanese including my wife, have expressed any real dissatisfaction with how things are run here, knowing well that it's all male influence and power. They all accept their role and do their best to contribute to the greater good of the whole without standing out to say this isn't fair or we need change. It's just not in Japanese DNA really, so we have the right to say change because that's how we do it over in the West? I'm happy to support change if the Japanese really want it, let's see when and if that happens here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The soon these old fossils either retire or shuffle off to heaven the better . These men make Japan so misogynistic.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Yeah the old white ( or think white ) have the opinion in this male treat.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Nikai already poured oil on this fire a week ago. In response to Olympic volunteers quitting over Mori's remarks he said, "If they still want to quit when they have calmed down, we'll just get some more volunteers". This led to lots of comments in Japanese for Nikai to quit too on Yahoo Japan's News page.

They really don't get it, do they?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Women voted for the current state of dreadful aged mediocrity.

Toshihiro Nikai, the party's 82-year-old secretary general would, should, could have, been consigned to political obscurity had women not formally indicated a choice.

It is time women took responsibility for these aged fools.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

At the ballot box!!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Drain the swamp.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

LOL, LOL, LOL!

21st. century! LOL!

LOL! LOL!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

These old dinosaurs need to pass another SARS2 package at their next meeting or else step aside and let the next generation do it for them while they join the Model T, Studebaker, the DeSoto at the museum.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan is Japan and until the Japanese people and culture shift, things like this won’t change.

The fact that I and most of the rest of the world think it is unbelievable isn’t really of any consequence.

These people live in a secure little political bubble, within an urban capital bubble on an island that traditionally and to a large extent still keeps the outside world at arms length. Engenders a very particular mindset.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"They got my vote."

Amen!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There are more women than men in Japan, why don't you vote for women you would win every time

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This one seems to have faded away, so

“abnormal development absolutely unthinkable under international law and bilateral relations”(among western allies)

“the friction between governments over the sexual slavery issue has also hurt relations between civilians and discouraged exchanges and friendship between young people”(for a longer period it took say Israel and Germany to heal)

and this part of the globe will now attempt to lead on with a new champion?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I expect to see a massive uprising against this clown by Japanese women... or maybe not... there's always next time I guess.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

'Standardization'. 'Harmony'. 'Diversity'.

Choose two.

Oops.

That choice has long since been made.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Roblib,

 They all accept their role and do their best to contribute to the greater good of the whole without standing out to say this isn't fair or we need change.

Ah yes, the 'shoganai' (it cannot be helped) attitude. That's the result of the conditioning of the education system, parents, work culture, media and bullying, all directed by the generation Mr. Nakai belongs to. (but not their true thinking)

I see this comment section as a way for me to practice sharing thoughts to better explain to others when the opportunity arises. I look forward to hearing more from you!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Laughing out loud shoud not be the last opinion or option on this channel

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What is wrong with these Jurassic Park era people.

They don't care a jot about anyone else except themselves.

Nice amount of black dye on his hairpiece.......you aint kidding anyone.....you are old,decrepit and,more to the point,you are done.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

PS Roblib,

We need ideas from everyone ~ especially the other 50% of the population (female)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yes I see the same thing you are referring to but somehow they make it work and things for the most part run smoothly here and are safe, at least me and my family feel this way. My friend always jokes that the majority of the world runs on Windows OS while Japan is Mac, LoL. Both have pluses and minuses but who is to say one is right and the other wrong. As small as a country that Japan is yet #3 economy in the world and one of the safest countries too. Somehow as twisted as things might be here and as the Japanese like to point out, things us foreigners would never understand, overall it is a well oiled machine that keeps working and pushing along in its own way regardless of what the outside thinks. We're happy here, I'll welcome change too if Japan decides that is what it needs.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Que Queen: Ba da dum dum dum, another one bites the dust.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So just allow them do cars and cips

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are many wonderful things about our host nation.

This farce is not one of them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You know, it's stupid comments by politicians such as these that really makes me start to root for the coronavirus in a no-holds barred match against these aged politicians.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This country is sooooo screwed up it's unbelievable...

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Why all this discrimination and hate towards older people?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Mori... is that you?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Can they these old fogies do anything right

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is called observers. Like for the Board Meetings where observers can in principle not talk.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Good to see BBC World picked up and is running this story.... international embarrassment is the only thing that Japan,s geezers respond to.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

But it is important for the party's female members to "look" at the party's decision-making process, he said.

He might want to reconsider such a dangerous stance. The decision-making process might be too complicated for their pretty little heads. /s

Also making the rounds on social media were comments by Kengo Sakurada, head of a powerful Japanese business lobby, who said Japan's glass ceiling was "partly women's fault".

Haha, the master at work again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Pretty Much how.most Japanese women want it. Keep quiet, dominate their home life while living lives of coffee dates, tennis lessons, English class, bakery visits, and day trips to bitch and moan about their useless husband's. The wool is so fully turned down the men don't even know what love is .

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

When you see this mess that is the LDP, you don't need to look far as to why this great country is going pear-shaped with little to no feeling of hope among its youth. Geez, have a mandatory retirement age for public service at least; that's about the best way to avoid stagnation.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Come on, give credit where it is due. The gesture is being done to have women more engaged.

An example of an agenda-driven article. Typical of what is being passed off as “news” these days.

These women are not elected. But give them power as though they were? They only do that in the U.S.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The gesture is being done to have women more engaged.

Anyone with the social intelligence to read the current culture would be able to see the end result of this "gesture" would not be that outcome.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Do the hustleFeb. 17  04:17 pm JST

LDP wants more women at meetings, but only if they don't talk: Nikai

Laugh out loud! If a politician said this in a modern country he could face jail.

You forget, this is how it's done in America's 'good buddy' kingdom of Saudi Arabia. That's called progress in that country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LDP = Less DumbA$$e$ Please

We need political satire comedy in this country. Where's Lorne Michaels?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In 2007, Shin Yanagisawa, Labor and Welfare Minister under the Abe administration said women were child bearing machines by nature and so let them make efforts to eliminate Japan's declining population. 

The LDP's inner circle politicians thus seem to be all part of the same gang.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nandakandamanda

exactly

0 ( +0 / -0 )

UNBELIEVABLE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yanagisawa had to resign from the government post because of the faux pas.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

shogun36

We need political satire comedy in this country. Where's Lorne Michaels?

Don't know Lorne Michaels, but we could do with Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister or a Japanese John Oliver.

But, sadly, it would never happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

SMFH in utter disbelief.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CNN International grabbed on the story and posted a report on their YouTube channel. So much for not wanting to make noise, Nikai, you stupid piece of human garbage.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where have I heard this before? In America we lambaste old white men who led us through the genocide of Native Americans, the mass kidnapping and slavery of blacks, the unlawful internment of Japanese Americans and the deaths of over 6000 young American servicemen and women in the middle east based on lies of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The Japanese have their own version called “Hardheaded old Japanese men” who dragged Japan through the barbarism committed in Asian countries against its innocent peoples. Unfortunately male hegemony is still pervasive in Japan today. Most men in Japan make more money than women for the same job, Japanese management is devoid of women, Men don’t stand up for women and the elderly in crowded trains.... and the list goes on and on

0 ( +0 / -0 )

...meanwhile, back in the 21st century, the rest of the planet looks at Japan and shakes its head in disdain...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As Lynda Boose, an English professor at Dartmouth, wrote in her essay “Scolding Brides and Bridling Scolds”: “For Tudor-Stuart England, in village and town, an obsessive energy was invested in exerting control over the unruly woman — the woman who was exercising either her sexuality or her tongue under her own control rather than under the rule of a man. … A discourse that locates the tongue as the body’s ‘unruly member’ situates female speech as a symbolic relocation of the male organ, an unlawful appropriation of phallic authority in which the symbolics of male castration are ominously complicit.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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