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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 March 20 - 26  > Racist LDP lawmaker refuses to answer Akahata inquiry
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2024 March 20 - 26 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Racist LDP lawmaker refuses to answer Akahata inquiry

March 23, 2024

Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives Sugita Mio, notorious for her racist remarks, on March 18 refused to give a response to an Akahata inquiry about her “X” post which claims that Ainu women’s testimony was “a lie.”

Sugita on March 8 posted on her X account that the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is “not the place to lie and claim that ‘Ainu women cannot enroll in the National Health Insurance.’ I was there and felt very uncomfortable with people talking about discrimination that does not exist in Japan.” She posted this, quoting someone else’s X post about an Akahata interview dated March 5 with Tahara Yoshiko, an indigenous Ainu woman.

The interview mentions that several Ainu women attended a meeting of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and stated that some Ainu women still have no access to medical care because they cannot afford to pay public health insurance premiums due to poverty.

A survey of the Ainu people’s living conditions conducted by the Hokkaido prefectural government and a survey of Ainu women conducted by Ainu organizations clearly show that some Ainu women do not have health insurance because they cannot afford it.

Akahata asked Sugita for a reason why she believes that the Ainu women’s statement was a lie. Sugita’s office responded, “Why should she answer questions from the communist party newspaper?”

It was in 2009 when Tahara spoke at the UN committee about the Ainu women’s health insurance situation. In the meantime, Sugita was an employee of the Nishinomiya City government (Hyogo Pref.) that year, according to her official website.

Past related article:
> LDP Sugita’s social media post insulting Ainu is human rights violation [September 25, 2023]
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