KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary

KOGA says!
Statement Protesting against Remarks Made by Mr. Yanagisawa, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare and Demanding for His Resignation

29 January 2007
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
It is reported that in his lecture speech at a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party’s members of Ehime Prefectural Assembly, held in Matsue City on January 27, 2007, Mr. Hakuo Yanagisawa, Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, remarked that as the number of the women at the ages of 15 to 50 is limited, the number of machines or machineries to give birth to children is limited accordingly. He also added that it might sound improper to call women machines, but he thought that there was no other way but to expect them to make efforts to bear as many children as expected per head.

Such a remark made by Minister Yanagisawa as to regard women as machines to give birth to children constitutes denial of and violation against the basic human rights of women, which is not permissible by any means. Moreover, his indication that the issue of declining birthrate should be resolved by asking each woman to give birth to children, shows the view that denies the necessity of the Government policy towards the issue, and we have to say that it is very inappropriate and unacceptable as the remark made by the Minister responsible for taking measures towards the issue.

RENGO strongly protests against the remark made by Minister Yanagisawa and demands withdrawal of his remark as well as his resignation.

In the present Japan where birthrate is in a serious declining process, it is an imminent issue to build up an environment where both men and women can have children and bring them up without anxiety. RENGO strongly demand that the Government should not shift its responsibility on to women but take concrete measures towards the issue of declining birthrate in recognizing the role it should play.