Started by slayton, Oct 16, 2010, 10:16 AM
Politician''s remark irks Japanese women[/size]]Politician''s remark irks Japanese womenTokyo, Oct 15(Kyodo) A senior politician's remark that Japanese women "find pleasure" in staying at home, made at an international conference earlier this month, has drawn criticism from various quarters, specially from the fairer sex. Yoshikatsu Nakayama, vice minister of economy, trade and industry, made the remark during the Women's Entrepreneurship Summit, jointly hosted by Japan and the United States, on October 1 in the central Japanese city of Gifu, which was . "Japanese women find pleasure in working at home and that has been part of Japanese culture," Nakayama said during the conference attended by around 300 businesswomen and other participants from the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. "That should be given more credit through (raising their husbands') salaries, but it has become impossible as the situation surrounding men became severe," he said. The 65-year-old politician who holds the third-highest position at the industry ministry also said that Japanese women hold the power behind the throne, and repeated that it was part of Japanese culture for them to stay at home. The remarks surprised conference participants and appalled many others as they spread widely through Twitter and by word of mouth, said participants and members of a protest group created after the politician made the remarks which has caused a furore."I was embarrassed because his remarks revealed how backward Japan is," said a Japanese woman who runs her own business and attended the conference. A US participant told her that in the United States, no one would say such a thing in public even if he or she held sexist ideas, she said. Women angered by the remarks formed a protest group on October 7 to demand Nakayama, a House of Representatives member from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, to retract the remarks and apologise. Some women said they were disappointed because they previously thought that the DPJ was positive about promoting women's social participation. The group, led by Fusako Okada, is soliciting protest e-mail messages to send to the industry ministry.So far, women in Hokkaido, Aichi, Toyama, Kyoto, Kochi, and Nakayama's hometown in Tokyo's Taito Ward, have cooperated, the group said. Nakayama told Kyodo News on Thursday that he "regrets" what he said. "I would like to do what I can, albeit small, for women to play a greater role in business," he said. The Switzerland-based World Economic Forum said recently that Japan ranked 94th out of 134 countries in terms of gender equality. Last year, a United Nations committee recommended that the Japanese government deal with discrimination against women in laws, employment and wages.(Kyodo)EKA
How long has the matrix been using this term: "the fairer sex"?