World Briefs: Women & babies remark: Japan MP rapped

Women & babies remark: Japan MP rapped

TOKYO • A Japanese lawmaker has come under fire after saying women should have several babies or risk becoming a burden on the state.

Mr Kanji Kato, a 72-year-old legislator in Prime Minister Shizo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said newlyweds should raise at least three children. He said he often tells young women that if they do not get married and have no offspring, they will end up in a care home run with the taxes of other people's children.

Ms Seiko Noda, minister in charge of women's empowerment, yesterday lashed out at his remarks, saying giving birth was different from making products. Mr Kato later retracted his remarks.


Starbucks adopts 'open bathroom' policy

WASHINGTON • Coffee chain Starbucks is adopting an "open bathroom" policy, dropping a requirement for customers to buy before they can use the facilities, following the arrest of two black men that turned into a public relations nightmare. Mr Rashon Nelson and Mr Donte Robinson were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks outlet on April 12, sparking soul-searching about lingering racial discrimination in the United States.

"We don't want to become a public bathroom. But we're going to make the right decision 100 per cent of the time and give people the key," executive chairman Howard Schultz told the Atlantic Council think-tank on Thursday.


Berlusconi can run for office after ban lifted

ROME • An Italian court has lifted a ban on three-time former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi running for elected office, Italy's media reported yesterday, clearing the way for yet another political comeback.

The decision comes as the leaders of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the far-right League inch closer to a deal for a coalition government, just days after Mr Berlusconi signalled he would not block such an agreement.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 13, 2018, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe