News / Asia

    Tokyo Pols Censured for Sexist Jeers

    Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, at the Tokyo city hall, June 19, 2014.Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, at the Tokyo city hall, June 19, 2014.
    x
    Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, at the Tokyo city hall, June 19, 2014.
    Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, at the Tokyo city hall, June 19, 2014.
    VOA News
    Japanese officials Friday called on the Tokyo city assembly to "clean itself up" after politicians jeered at a female colleague during a meeting.

    Assembly woman Ayaka Shiomura was speaking in support of increased services for the city's women when male council members shouted for her to get married and questioned whether she could have children.

    Shiomura, a member of the Your Party and one of 25 women on the 127-member body, later wrote on social media that, while she could handle political attacks, sexist comments crossed the line.

    In an interview published in the Wall Street Journal, she said it was an offense "even an elementary school child knows is wrong."

    Japan has one of the lowest rates of female workforce participation in the developed world. The incident comes as economic reforms are expected next week, aimed at increasing the number of women in management and expanding day care services to support working parents.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who urged the assembly to "clean up," was one of several national-level officials to speak out after the news of the heckling surfaced.

    Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare Norihisa Tamura told Reuters the comments were "offensive to women" and "absolutely unacceptable" behavior from elected officials.

    More than 1,000 emails and calls have flooded into the Tokyo council's offices over the comments, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

    Shiomura has requested the council president punish those members responsible for the verbal attacks.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
    June 22, 2014 8:08 PM
    Sexists' comments surely crossed the line. They lacked a sense of humor. Hecklers should be ashamed.

    by: Fumio Aoki from: Japan Saitama
    June 21, 2014 4:42 AM
    They said they can not make any panishment 'cause nobody can figure who it was or were.
    But there were recorded voices and put on TV news already, so it will be easy to recognize who they were.
    This is Japan now, this is right (not left) people in Japan now!! who love to change Japan as a country easy to attend to the war anywhere in the world. No more war, No more nuclear anergy plants and No more Hibakusha are thoughts of most of Japanese people.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora