At the World Assembly for Women held in Tokyo last week, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, lauded the social achievements of women worldwide but added that “we are not there yet.” Sirleaf didn’t say where exactly “there” is, but during the same week, two media-related stories appeared that seem to indicate Japanese women themselves haven’t yet arrived at this desired destination.

The first was a video uploaded to the Internet by Nihon TV purporting to explain the rules of rugby to neophytes in advance of the Rugby World Cup, which NTV will broadcast later this month and Japan will host in 2019. The video showed young women dressed in tight shorts and sports bras demonstrating how the game is played. The network was immediately bombarded with complaints, mainly from rugby fans who thought the video mocked their favorite sport, but also from others who objected to its titillating nature.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.