Men Should Do Grocery Shopping Because Women Take Too Long, Japanese Mayor Says
The mayor of Osaka, Japan, has come under fire on social media for 'deplorable' comments regarding gender and shopping, having said that women take longer when buying groceries.
Mayor Ichiro Matsui was speaking at a coronavirus press conference in Osaka on Thursday (23 April) when a male reporter asked about the possibility of reducing shoppers' entry to supermarkets as a way of lowering the risk of coronavirus infections.
"Women take a longer time grocery shopping because they browse through different products and weigh out which option is best," Matsui said, according to CNN.
"Men quickly grab what they're told to buy so they won't linger at the supermarket - that avoids close contact with others."
When a reporter pointed out that this was a sexist remark, Matsui reportedly backed off the idea.
His comments soon drew criticism from the online world, where popular Japanese journalist Shoko Egawa tweeted to argue that 'people who know nothing about daily life shouldn't make comments'.
Egawa's tweet has since garnered 3,400 likes and some 1,300 retweets, with many people commenting to agree with the sentiment.
Condemning the mayor's words, another person also took to Twitter to say: "Japan is a country where these words come calmly out of a mayor's mouth. Deplorable."
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Someone else added: "When I hear remarks like this... I feel the need for people with diverse backgrounds to participate in politics."
According to World Bank data, women account for 51 percent of the Japanese population. However, the nation is ranked 110th out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum's index measuring the degree of gender equality.
National broadcaster NHK reports that, as of Friday morning, there were nearly 1,500 cases of Coronavirus in Osaka and the prefecture that surrounds it, making it the second hardest-hit area after Tokyo.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that 328 people have died in Japan at the time of writing. The country also has 12,368 confirmed cases.
CCN reports that politicians in Japan have come under 'immense fire' for how they have handled the crisis, with health experts warning of the nation's low testing capabilities and slow response from the government.
By mid-April, Japan had only managed to test 90,000 people out of its 127 million population. By contrast, South Korea had tested more than 513,000 out of its population of 51 million.
Featured Image Credit: PA