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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid