School principal defends controversial remarks about women and childbirth

Kyodo

A public school principal who recently made controversial remarks calling on women to bear and raise children rather than pursue careers defended his words Tuesday, saying he has not directly heard any complaints from students or parents.

“I have yet to confirm whether anyone was hurt by my speech. If such a person does indeed exist, I will explain (my intentions) again,” Hisao Terai, the 61-year-old head of Mattakita Junior High School in the city of Osaka’s Tsurumi Ward, told reporters.

In his Feb. 29 remarks made before a school assembly of about 600 students, he said that giving birth to two children or more is the “most important thing” for a woman and “more valuable than building her career.”

After receiving an anonymous phone call about his comments, the education board, which called them “indiscreet,” questioned the principal to determine whether it should take disciplinary action against him.

Terai said he has spoken around 30 times at school assemblies over the past year, and on such occasions he explained “both child-rearing and building a career are worthwhile.”

“I made the speech (in question) as a wrap-up, so if you listened to all my speeches they were not inappropriate,” he said.

The principal admitted, however, that the speech he gave on Feb. 29 was “problematic as a single speech.”

Terai earlier defended his remarks by saying he made them “out of a keen sense of crisis over Japan’s falling population.” He also said, “The greatest joy for women is child-rearing.”

Katsunobu Kato, the minister for promoting dynamic engagement of all citizens, who also serves as the minister in charge of female empowerment, said at a news conference Tuesday that teachers in general “must be mindful of students’ reaction when they speak before them.”

“When a school principal speaks, it could affect the children’s lives. You have to give it good consideration when you speak,” Kato added.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Dave Barton

    Another sixteenth century Samurai. Living in the past and they don’t even recognize it.

  • Philosopher

    I bet there are hundreds of thousands of women and girls hurt by what he said. There are probably millions more than think this man is a dinosaur incapable of insulting anyone.

  • koedo

    Japan is dying.

    The birth rate is well below the population replacement rate. The biologic reality is that only human woman can bring forth new human life. At the very least, the principal is attempting to address the unavoidable reality of depopulation in Japan.

    So, Japan has two choices; increase the birth rate or accept more immigrants. Historically, Japan does not accept immigrants. When Japan looks out into the world and sees the chaos immigration causes in other countries, I don’t blame them for not wanting to disrupt their society. Now we only have one choice left; increase the birth rate. How do you do this? You incentivize woman to have more children. The principal is simply stating the obvious; Japan is dying and we need more children. Now, what’s the problem with what he said?

    • blondein_tokyo

      If you want to incentivize women to have more children, you make it possible for them to be able to have chidren while at the same time pursing a career. You don’t, as this principal did, make women think that if they have children they won’t have the chance to do anything else in life. That is the very reason the birthrate is dropping – women want more out of life than just being a mother.
      So Japan has a third choice: change the culture.

      • Regular Teenager

        “just being a mother.” I emphasize the “JUST” for being a mother…