Video: Suga Yoshihide’s Club for Men

Video: Suga Yoshihide’s Club for Men

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Suga Yoshihide's Club for Men
Will Japan's new Prime Minister do anything to advance the cause of women in Japan? Unseen Japan Live! co-hosts Sachiko Ishikawa and Jay Allen look at Suga's statements to date.

Will Japan’s new Prime Minister do anything to advance the cause of women in Japan? Unseen Japan Live! co-hosts Sachiko Ishikawa and Jay Allen look at Suga’s statements to date, the “son of a farmer” narrative spun about Suga in the media, and why Suga refuses to tackle more popular issues like separate spousal surnames in Japan.

Suga Yoshihide’s Club for Men

Will Japan’s new Prime Minister do anything to advance the cause of women in Japan? Unseen Japan Live! co-hosts Sachiko Ishikawa and Jay Allen look at Suga’s…

This is from the Unseen Japan Livestream, which happens every month on our Discord channel. Join us on Discord for information on the next broadcast!

Your Hosts

Jay Allen – Publisher, Unseen Japan. Japan nerd. White. Bald. Resides in Seattle and (occasionally) Tokyo.

Sachiko Ishikawa – Japanese Feminist and activist. Co-host of the Unseen Japan Crowdcast. Resides in Tokyo. (Read Sachiko’s piece on Japan’s Flower Demos)

Quotes

On Suga’s Plan to Cover Infertility Treatments Under National Insurance

“Suga said he wanted to make society a place where women could be happy having children….Which, to me, reads as, I want not just incubators, but happy incubators.” – Sachiko

On The Average Age of Suga’s Cabinet Members Being 60

“I think it’s fantastic to see anyone in their 60s, 70s, 80s still working and serving in government. That’s great. The issue is the fact that that’s the only representation.” – Jay

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On the “Son of Farmers” Narrative

“You can say whatever you want about Suga being the son of farmers and working his way up in a company like a salaryman…that was, how long ago? ‘He wasn’t brought up by an elite family’ – well, he’s pretty much elite now, thank you very much.” – Sachiko

Cited Unseen Japan Articles

89% in Japan Support Separate Spousal Surnames

A new poll shows a clear shift in public support for giving spouses in Japan the right to have different last names, which remains forbidden by law.

Doc: Women in Japan Can’t Be Trusted with Morning After Pill

Japanese Twitter erupts as a leading doctor in the country says sex education is too “inadequate” to let women obtain levonorgestrel over the counter.

Rough Show Notes

  • Lots of puff coverage of Suga Yoshihide right now in both Japanese and Western press
  • As a result, his cabinet’s approval is at 74% – #3 highest starting approval of all time (https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO63999770X10C20A9MM8000/)
  • Suga has said in the past that it’s “necessary” to change things that hinder women in society (https://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/54961)
  • However, his Cabinet has as many women in it (2) as were in the Cabinet at the start of the Heisei era 30+ years ago
  • Moreover, has made positively ambiguous statements about separate spousal surnames. Currently a hot topic as couples currently must legally have the same last name – an old law based in German precedent that every other country, including Germany, has already changed
  • Only woman-positive step (possible) seen so far: new vice-minister of MHLW Mihara Junko saying she wants national health insurance to cover infertility treatments (though no word on the morning after pill)
  • Also cell phone initiative seems like a purely populist, feel-good move
  • Morning after pill

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Jay Allen

Jay is a resident of Tokyo where he works as a reporter for Unseen Japan and as a technial writer. A lifelong geek, wordsmith, and language fanatic, he has level N1 certification in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) and is fervently working on his Kanji Kentei Level 2 certification.

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