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2015 June 24 - 30 [WELFARE]

Mothers in Tokorozawa sue city gov’t for discriminatory childcare policy regarding child-rearing leave

June 26, 2015
A group of 11 parents from eight families in Saitama’s Tokorozawa City on June 25 took the city to court, claiming that the city’s new childcare policy forcing children to leave nursery schools because their parents are on childcare leave to care for newborn babies is illegal.

The plaintiffs filed with the Saitama District Court a lawsuit and a temporary injunction against the city at the same time.

The Tokorozawa City government in April introduced a new childcare rule disallowing children from attending childcare centers if their parents are taking childcare leave to care for newborn babies. The city explained that children will be able to reenter childcare facilities on a priority basis after both parents return to work. However, parents are expressing concern that there is no guarantee that children can reenter their original facilities.

After the filing, the 11 plaintiffs held a press conference in the Labor and Welfare Ministry building. A 37-year-old mother who gave birth to her third baby in May said, “Due to the city’s new rule, I gave up the plan to have another baby.”

Plaintiffs’ lawyer Hara Kazuyoshi pointed out that the city’s policy runs counter to the Abe government’s policy on women’s empowerment. “Local governments have responsibility to build more childcare centers and provide childcare services to all children,” he added.
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