TOKYO, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Some Japanese female
lawmakers urged health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa to resign on Monday for calling
women "birth-giving machines" in an earlier speech.
protest letter to Yanagisawa, signed by 16 female lawmakers, said that his
remarks treaded on women's human rights and were totally unacceptable. The
letter also urged the minister to resign over the issue.
Japanese Health Minister Hakuo
Yanagisawa listens to a legislator at parliament in Tokyo, Jan. 29,
2007. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
Yanagisawa said on Saturday to a local assembly that
"the number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of
birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do
their best per head," according to Kyodo News.
The remarks immediately drew criticism from
opposition parties and the ruling bloc. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the Diet
that he has strictly warned the minister about the inappropriate comparison on
Yanagisawa apologized on Monday for making the
remarks, saying "I used such an expression to make it easier to explain about
population projections. It was really inappropriate."