January 28, 2007

Japan Health minister refers to women as 'birth-giving machines'

Another remark from a male dominant country, Japan.

(JT) Health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa compared women to "birth-giving machines" in a speech delivered Saturday explaining the declining birthrate, one of the major policy challenges for the government.

Addressing prefectural assembly members of the Liberal Democratic Party in Matsue city, the 71-year-old Yanagisawa touched on the nation's declining birthrate and said, "The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head."

In his 30-minute address, while making the allusions, Yanagisawa added such remarks as "I'm sorry to call them machines" and "I hope they'll forgive me for saying machines.

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