UK & World News

  • 24 June 2014, 10:24

Japan PM 'Sorry' Over Party Member's Sexism

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has apologised after a member of his party barracked a female politician with sexist taunts.

Tokyo city assembly member Akihiro Suzuki has also said sorry and resigned from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) after interrupting Ayaka Shiomura, telling her to "hurry up and get married", and shouting "can't you give birth?".

The incident has embarrassed Mr Abe's government, amid a major drive to increase the number of women in the workplace.

The admission by Mr Suzuki that he had shouted the comments followed days of denials.

Shortly after issuing the apology, his office was pelted with eggs and he faced a barrage of criticism on Facebook and Twitter.

Ms Shiomura, a member of the assembly, had been questioning senior figures in the Tokyo city administration on plans to help mothers when she had abuse shouted at her from the benches occupied by LDP members, which was captured on tape.

She has also said she wants to identify others who joined in with the jeering.

The incident has dominated the news agenda in Japan, which has one of the lowest rates of women in the workplace in the developed world.

A lack of childcare facilities, poor career support and entrenched sexism have been blamed for the situation.

The PM has stressed his wish to level the playing field for women and has made numerous speeches on the subject in recent months.

In his latest blog post, he wrote: "The government will actively support women, regardless of whether they are currently at work or home, to play more active roles."

Advertisement