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Baby ejected from Japanese assembly


You all need to see this picture, of all these disapproving men gathered around this woman and her baby.

A Japanese politician took her baby to work. Male colleagues made a fuss.

By Anna Fifield and Yuki Oda November 24 at 10:32 AM

TOKYO — Yuka Ogata wanted to make a point about the challenges working women face in Japan. The men on the Kumamoto Municipal Assembly proved her point for her — entirely inadvertently.

The 42-year-old assembly member, on her first day back at work after giving birth, walked into the chamber Wednesday and sat in her front-row seat with her 7-month-old baby, Dogen, in her arms. Video from the assembly session showed the boy sitting on her lap and watching the goings-on, not making a sound, while the men in the other rows looked on in consternation.

Ogata had hardly sat down before four men, including Chairman Yoshitomo Sawada, confronted her about bringing the baby into the chamber. A fifth man lingered behind them.

There, in one camera frame — working moms versus the patriarchy.

“I wanted to appear in the assembly hall with my baby and represent the voices of mothers, working and nonworking, who tell me they’re struggling to raise a child in Japan,” Ogata told The Washington Post. “Women want to be able to raise a child and work happily without having to sacrifice one of these things.” Ogata, who holds a master’s degree in conflict resolution from George Mason University, also has a 4-year-old daughter.

Other politicians around the world have made the point in similar ways.

Licia Ronzulli, an Italian member of the European Parliament, has been taking her daughter, Vittoria, into the chamber in Strasbourg, France, since 2010, when she was 1 month old.

Earlier this year, Larissa Waters became the first member of Australia’s Parliament to take advantage of new rules allowing mothers to nurse their babies in the chamber.

But Ogata’s move set up a serious confrontation in etiquette-bound Japan, where rules are rules and shall not be bent.

Ogata, who was elected to the assembly in April 2015, had already made history — and waves — in March when she remained seated while asking questions in the assembly. She was eight months pregnant at the time.

Babies are not explicitly banned from the assembly chamber, and Ogata said she had asked the assembly secretariat to allow members to bring their children onto the floor or open a day-care center in the assembly building.

Her request was not without precedent. The Kyoto and Akita prefectural assemblies have child-care facilities in their buildings.

But her request was denied — she was told that attending a meeting with a child would “obstruct the operation of the assembly” — so she decided to take her baby with her when she returned to work anyway. Still, she was surprised to have the infant ejected from the chamber.

The assembly secretariat ruled that the baby was a visitor — and visitors must sit in the gallery.

“The assembly has a rule that only members can enter the assembly hall, so that’s why we asked her to remove her child,” Sawada, the assembly chairman, told The Post. “It wasn’t appropriate.”

Politics is a difficult profession for women in Japan. Only 10 percent of the lawmakers in the lower house of the National Diet are women, and little, if any, consideration is given to accommodating mothers.

Megumi Kaneko, then-vice minister of internal affairs, was sharply criticized earlier this year when tabloid papers reported that she was taking her 1-year-old son to day care in her official vehicle. It didn’t matter that the day-care center was in the same building as her Diet office. Newspapers accused her of using an official vehicle for private purposes.

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11/25/2017, 10:42 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Baby ejected from Japanese assembly


I can't get into the link but reading about it I think the Japanese males need a little work. I [sign in to see URL]'t they have mothers and sisters,wives and daughters?

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"libido sciendi"..... the passion to know.
11/25/2017, 11:05 am Link to this post PM Noserose
 
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Re: Baby ejected from Japanese assembly


We had an occasion when politicians took their children to parliament and the speaker held one for the baby's mother.

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What a weak country I now live in!
11/25/2017, 10:43 pm Link to this post PM Yobbo
 
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Re: Baby ejected from Japanese assembly


Love it, Yobbo!
11/26/2017, 10:52 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Baby ejected from Japanese assembly


quote:

Noserose wrote:

I can't get into the link but reading about it I think the Japanese males need a little work. I [sign in to see URL]'t they have mothers and sisters,wives and daughters?



Japanese males aren't the only ones who need a little work.
11/26/2017, 5:19 pm Link to this post PM Philer Blog
 


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