Though the media agrees with the government that Japan’s flagging birthrate is a bad thing, they seem determined to make potential parents dread the prospect of raising kids in a world where every wrong choice, major or minor, could turn their offspring into criminals, deviants, or just plain miserable people.

The main target of tabloid press derision for the past several weeks has been actress Yoshiko Mita, whose 20-year-old son Takuya was arrested for drug use Oct. 21. It isn’t the first time Takuya has been in trouble with the law, and though his situation hews closely to that hackneyed scenario of privileged youth screwing up in the public eye, the media has determined that Mita deserves their Bad Mother of the Month Award.

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