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Tokyo lawmaker admits sexist jeering

Published on Jun 23, 2014 4:09 PM
 
This picture taken on June 19, 2014, shows Ayaka Shiomura, a member of the Tokyo metropolitan assembly, speaking to reporters at the Tokyo city hall. A Tokyo city lawmaker from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party admitted on Monday he had been responsible for a sexist taunt shouted at a young assemblywoman in a debate on motherhood. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A Tokyo city lawmaker from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling party admitted on Monday he had been responsible for a sexist taunt shouted at a young assemblywoman in a debate on motherhood.

In a case that has cast a harsh spotlight on the attitudes of many of the older men who occupy senior positions in Japanese public life, 51-year-old Akihiro Suzuki said he had yelled: "Why don't you get married?" at the opposition assemblywoman.

The episode, which took place last Wednesday, has undermined Mr Abe's repeated appeals for Japan to boost the role of its under-employed women and encourage them into more senior positions. Mr Suzuki had previously repeatedly denied shouting the taunt.

"I made the comment out of my feeling that I would like her to get married soon, as we see the issue of a shrinking population and an increasing number of women not marrying until late," Mr Suzuki told a hastily-arranged press conference.

 
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