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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 June 27 - July 3  > LDP politicians make anachronistic remarks
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2018 June 27 - July 3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

LDP politicians make anachronistic remarks

June 28, 2018

Akahata 'current' column

During the war in Japan, Minister of Army Terauchi Hisaichi proposed that the Imperial Government have a new ministry to encourage women to give birth. Established in 1938, the Ministry of Health sought to increase the population in preparation for a forthcoming war of aggression.

The Cabinet in 1941 came up with a population policy under the edict "Beget and Multiply". The Patriotic Women's Association, according to "Abortion before Birth Control - The Politics of Reproduction in Postwar Japan" written by Tiana Norgren, devoted much effort to educate young women to believe that marriage is for the nation, not for individuals, so that they will accept motherhood as a national destiny.

Surprisingly, this idea of "having children for the country" is still alive. Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Nikai Toshihiro (Lower House) on June 26 in a talk in Tokyo with a political critic proclaimed, "Some women selfishly think that they would be happier without children." The LDP leadership is apparently steeped in the prewar sense of values.

Other outdated remarks made by LDP politicians include, for example, one by former Dietmember Yanagisawa Hakuo who said, "Women are birth-giving machines"; by Kato Kanji (Lower House), "Women should at least have three children"; by Hagiuda Koichi (Lower House), "Males' participation in childrearing sounds cool but this wouldn't be welcomed by babies because children under three prefer mommy over daddy." What these politicians have in common is that they cannot imagine what has been making it difficult for people to have and raise children.

What is more, Nikai said, "No family in Japan has a fear of starvation. All families can prepare rice to be cooked for the evening meal." He denis government responsibility for the widening of social gaps and increase in poverty under the Abe administration.

Nikai added, "There is no country as wonderful and fortunate as Japan." Such political dinosaurs need to be forced out of the political arena.

Past related articles:
> Pro-business gov’t policies worsen declining birthrate problem [June 6, 2018]
> LDP lawmaker’s ‘raise at least 3 kids’ remark is epitomy of sexual harassment: JCP Kasai [May 11&12, 2018]
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