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Japan women called child machines
Japan's health minister has referred to women as "birth-giving machines" in a speech to a local political meeting.
Hakuo Yanagisawa called for women to do their best to bear children in order to counter Japan's plummeting birth rate and rapidly ageing population.
"Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head," he said.
He added: "Although it may not be so appropriate to call them machines."
Recent figures show that Japanese fertility fell to an average of just 1.26 children per woman in 2005.
Last year saw a slight rise for the first time in six years, but the country still faces a long-term trend that may see a 30% drop in the population in the next 50 years.
A rate of 2.1 is needed to maintain population levels.
Japan has the world's highest ratio of elderly to young people.
The trend raises serious concerns about the country's future economic growth and how it can fund its pensions.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to bring in policies that will tackle the falling birth rate.
His recent draft budget sought to increase support for child-care services.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2007/01/27 22:48:39 GMT
Japan minister dubs women "birth-giving machines"
Sat Jan 27, 2007 6:24 PM IST
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's health minister called women of child-bearing age "birth-giving machines" on Saturday, saying each should do her best to help boost the nation's rock-bottom birth rate, Kyodo news agency reported.
Japan's ageing and shrinking population has raised concerns about the country's economic growth potential and the government's ability to finance ballooning pension requirements.
"The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head, although it may not be so appropriate to call them machines," Kyodo quoted Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa as telling local party members.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took office in September, has pledged to take steps to make it easier for people to juggle work and child-rearing.
Japan's fertility rate, or the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime, fell to a record low of 1.26 in 2005. Estimates show the fertility rate probably increased slightly in 2006 but it is expected to resume its decline this year.
Japan's population started shrinking in 2004, and already one-fifth of the population is 65 or older.
Reports: Japan's health minister calls women 'birth-giving machines'
The Associated Press
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Japan's health minister described women as "birth-giving machines" in a speech on the country's falling birthrate, but later retracted the remarks, news reports said Sunday.
"The number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 is fixed. The number of birth-giving machines (and) devices is fixed, so all we can ask is that they do their best per head," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said in a speech Saturday, the Asahi and Mainichi newspapers reported.
Speaking to Kyodo News agency later in the day, Yanagisawa apologized saying the language he used was "too uncivil."
Health Ministry officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.
Japan's birth rate was 1.26 babies per woman in her lifetime in 2005, a record low and far below the level needed to keep the country's population steady.
The government has been scrambling to implement measures to persuade couples to have more children.
A proposal adopted in June calls for increasing child care, promoting greater gender equality, and encouraging companies to be more flexible in allowing staff time to take care of family responsibilities.
But the high cost of raising children, as well as the lingering notion that women should quit their jobs after giving birth, has meant many opt to have few or no children.
Posted on Sat, Jan. 27, 2007
In her first campaign trip to Iowa, Clinton stresses gender
By Steven Thomma
(DIVERSITY) (ARCHIVE PHOTO, GRAPHIC)
DES MOINES, Iowa - Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton opened her quest for the White House Saturday stressing her potentially historic role as a woman - a tough woman at that, who will "deck" opponents, win the presidency and enact universal health care that eluded her as First Lady.
"When you're attacked, you have to deck your opponents," the New York Democrat said to applause from a group of about 50 Iowa Democrats Saturday.
"I want to run a positive, issue-oriented, visionary campaign. But you can count on me to stand my ground and fight back," she said.
Clinton received enthusiastic applause from Democratic audiences throughout the day Saturday in her first visit since declaring her candidacy. That's important as she sets out to overcome the early lead built up in the state by former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
"I intend to do it the old-fashioned way," she told Democrats at a town hall meeting later Saturday.
While she hasn't been to the state since 2003 - Edwards has been there 17 times since the 2004 election - Clinton vowed to return to living rooms, church basements and union halls for intimate conversations. That kind of personal encounter is expected in a state whose caucuses likely will kick off the 2008 presidential contest next winter.
Close conversations were impossible this weekend with more than 150 journalists tagging along, including television crews from England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Switzerland. But she vowed their interest would drop off and she'd get more chances to talk with voters.
The cheers seemed particularly warm from women, many of whom said they sensed the very real prospect of a woman president for the first time in their lives.
"I feel it in the heart," said Marcy Hintz of Des Moines.
"It's about time, if not past time, that we had a woman president," said a woman at the town hall meeting in posing the first question to Clinton.
Clinton welcomed the chance to talk about her gender.
"I know there are people who either say or wonder, will we ever elect a woman president?" she said. "I'm going to try."
She said the country is good at breaking historic barriers, and noted to applause that there are now 16 women in the United States Senate. "The numbers are increasing," she said.
Women in the audience cheered readily when Clinton asked them to "think of what you felt like when you saw Nancy Pelosi" sworn in as speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
They nodded in agreement when she said, "I'm not the only woman here who thinks you have to work a little harder. I'm willing to do that."
And they laughed, along with all the men, when she said something few male candidates ever say: "I suspect there will be more stories about my clothes and hair."
She warned there may be other, "bloody," stories as well, perhaps a reference to her husband's infidelities. But she said they would be based on a double standard and urged voters to look past them to issues that matter to them.
Clinton came to Iowa without her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and did not mention him. She did mention the "Clinton administration," which drew applause, and one handwritten sign welcomed "President Clinton - 2008."
Coincidentally, her arrival Friday came 15 years to the day after she and her husband went on the CBS program "60 Minutes" to answer allegations of his infidelity.
"I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette," she said then.
Clinton sought to differentiate herself from her rivals by nature of her long experience in public policy. Edwards served just one term in the Senate; the other candidate vying for the top tier in Iowa, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, is still in his first term after seven years in the Illinois legislature.
"I have a lifetime of experiences as well as qualifications from all the work that I've done that make me particularly well prepared to take office in January 2009," she said.
Clinton did not face any tough questions over her support for the Iraq war, though anti-war activists in the party complain that she hasn't called her vote to authorize the war a mistake as Edwards has done. Obama opposed the war from the onset.
"I've taken responsibility for my vote," she told one group of Iowa Democrats. "But there are no do-overs in life. I wish there were. I acted on the best judgment I had at the time."
She vowed universal health care, following Obama's call last week to extend health care coverage to everyone within six years.
Dr.北村 ただ今診察中：第121話 脳から見た女性のオーガズム
Female orgasms are potentially a deadly shocker for men
"If I'm ever reincarnated, I want to be a woman next time around," my 56-year-old (male) friend from my high school days blurted out to me one day after we'd met up for the first time in a while.
"Why?" I asked.
"Because when the sex is good, it's so much better than it is for guys," he said, then added: "Tell me why."
I was a bit perplexed. "I've never been a woman, so how would I know. Some women have faked orgasm, so it's a bit intrusive for a guy to stand there and talk about what a woman's orgasms should be like."
He shot back. "I'm not asking you to speak from personal experience. Tell me from the point of view of somebody who's been studying Japanese sexuality for 30 years."
I couldn't drag the fight on any longer and looked at the issue from the point of view of a columnist. I'm sure you've heard of the phrase "sex is all in the mind." It's true, because sex is not just something that happens between the legs, but instead involves all the senses -- sight, sound, smell, touch and taste -- stimulating the brain (and specifically, the frontal lobe). Just as heroes are said to love sex, the more developed a person's frontal lobe is, the more active their sex life is going to be.
When it comes to the difference between male and female sexuality, it's impossible to rule out some sort of connection between the sex nerves in the hypothalamus, where sexual dimorphism (or distinction between the sexes) makes men twice as large as women. It is perhaps this difference in the brains that sees men seek direct stimulation while women need more touching. Even though men can reach climax with incredible speed, they also cool down rapidly, occasionally making it very irritating for them to be touched after ejaculation. This is a major difference from women, who take a long time to get back to normal following orgasm.
So, how do I answer my old classmate's question about why good sex for women feels so much better than good sex does for men? There's a hint hidden in the brainwaves. And I'll turn to another friend, in this case Ryuichi Kaneko, who joined me as one of the co-authors of "Sex no Subete ga Wakaru Hon (Everything You Need to Know About Sex)."
When an orgasm has been achieved through sex, you can measure theta waves. These are also said to cause the "running high" feeling of euphoria experienced sometimes by marathon runners. If theta waves are taken as a criterion, the entire brain emits theta waves when women reach an orgasm that are close on 10 times stronger than when men climax. So, if theta waves are an indication of an orgasm's strength, then women experience an orgasm that is physically impossible for men to go through. Putting it a little crudely, if the intensity of a woman's orgasm was played through a man's brain, there's a danger that the shock to his system would kill him. That risk makes it impossible to experiment on a man at the moment. And men can never become women. But my co-author, Kaneko, used the experience of people who have undergone a sex change (either a woman born with a man's brain or vice versa) to explain the pleasure women feel.
There is a very strong correlation between nerve transmitters called dopamine and pleasure. Arousal causes the pulse to rise, turns the face red and makes the eyes misty because of the effects of dopamine. There also appears to be a link between this and a woman's tendency to become prettier when she falls in love. If it becomes possible to measure dopamine, it may also become possible to measure a woman's pleasure.
Whatever way the body may be working, what we do know for sure is that precisely because it is impossible to measure how a partner is feeling it is all the more important to communicate and work out ways that you can both feel good. (By Dr. Kunio Kitamura, special to the Mainichi)