Inasmuch as newspapers routinely wrap up their year with top-10 news, sports and other stories, perhaps it would also be a good time to hark back on, say, roughly 10 memorable moments in blunder-speak, when political figures funded by the taxpayer blurt out nuggets guaranteed to show how not to earn their pay.

Take Hakuo Yanagisawa, who, in a January meeting as health and welfare minister looking into the problem of the falling birthrate, called women “baby-making machines.” Gender equality, let alone respect, apparently never occurred to him. Women’s groups and female lawmakers were quickly incensed. He later said he used too “uncivil” a metaphor.

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