A Lower House member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday admitted to heckling a female member at a panel meeting in April by telling her to “get married and have children,” backtracking on an earlier denial.
Lawmaker Hideo Onishi, 67, admitted to making the remarks and apologized to Japan Restoration Party member Sayuri Uenishi, 31, by phone on Friday morning, Uenishi said in Osaka.
On Thursday, Onishi said that he had “no recollection” of the event.
Uenishi’s claim follows the heckling of Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member Ayaka Shiomura during a full session of the assembly last month. In that instance, Akihiro Suzuki, then an LDP member, admitted to making one of the remarks and apologized. But other alleged hecklers failed to come forward.
According to Uenishi, she was asking a question about combating Japan’s shrinking population during a session of the Committee on Internal Affairs and Communications.
The remark, which came from the direction of seats occupied by the LDP, was followed by laughter and applause, Uenishi said.
Uenishi said “I’ll do my best,” before committee Chairman Yosuke Takagi of ruling coalition partner New Komeito cautioned members against making unauthorized remarks.
Takagi said Thursday that he didn’t remember the remark and that figuring out who said it would be difficult.