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2024 January 31 - February 6 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

column  Abusive comments about women’s appearance and age made by LDP brass reveals LDP’s adherence to patriarchy and male domination

February 4, 2024
Akahata ‘current’ column

Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Aso Taro, in a speech on January 28, referred to Foreign Minister Kamikawa Yoko’s appearance while praising her as a "new star”.

Regarding Kamikawa’s work, Aso said, “I wouldn’t say she is that beautiful,” and he went on to say, “From our viewpoint, I thought this ‘old lady’ does a good job.”

Yet again, abusive remarks came from Aso. Meeting with criticism, his office retracted Aso’s sexist remarks, saying, “The expression was inappropriate.” However, it seems Aso shows no sign of remorse.

What Aso did was to evaluate people according to their appearance and age, and to look down on women. His words and deeds full of prejudice and discrimination represent his arrogance in thinking that he is allowed to say whatever he wants.

The LDP is responsible for neglecting Aso’s repeated problematic comments. Kamikawa herself brushed off the issue by saying, “I’m grateful for any feedback.” Prime Minister Kishida Fumio just said, “We should refrain from making fun of someone’s appearance and age.” It looks as if the LDP were saying that Aso’s remarks were a “joke” and were trying to get past this issue.

What is still fresh in people’s minds is former Prime Minister Mori Yoshiro’s comment needling an experienced female secretary about her age. Mori said, “She is a very old lady. She is too old to be a woman.” The belittling of women exposes the LDP’s male-dominated values for all to see.
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