Group takes inspiration from similar protest in the U.S.

Last week, during a meeting of the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee, the topic of increasing the proportion of upper leadership roles within the organization that are held by women came up. Committee president Yoshiro Mori seemed far from enthusiastic about the idea, reacting with “If we increase the number of female directors, we will have to place limits on speaking time, or else the discussions will never end,” citing women’s “very competitive nature” as the reason why.

Mori has never been considered a well-spoken public figure, stretching back to his verbal gaffe-littered tenure as Japan’s prime minister. Even by that low standard, though, Mori’s latest statement has drawn widespread criticism, and a group of Japanese politicians has offered a wardrobe-based rebuttal.

During a session in Tokyo on Tuesday, a group of female members of the House of Representatives (the lower of Japan’s two houses of parliament), arrived wearing white jackets. The approximately 20 women did not pick the color as a sign of the warm spring weather that’s just around the corner, but because of its connection to the women’s suffrage movement, and also to similar protests by female U.S. politicians at congressional meetings as a form of protest against former president Donald Trump.

The movement was spearheaded by representative Masako Okawara, and in addition to representatives from Okawara’s Constitutional Democratic Party, women from other factions, such as the Democratic Party for the People and Japanese Communist Party, wore white as well. 100 white roses were distributed to male representatives who wished to show their solidarity, with others doing so by way of a white pocket square tucked into their suit jacket.

“We are doing this to show that [Mori’s] derogatory comments about women are unacceptable. We’ve decided to call it the White Action,” said Okawara.

Sources: Nitele News 24 via Itai News, Asahi Shimbun Digital
Featured image: Twitter/@renho_sha
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