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Home » JWLI founder and chairperson Atsuko Toko Fish submits a written apology to Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso for comments that disrespect women.

JWLI founder and chairperson Atsuko Toko Fish submits a written apology to Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso for comments that disrespect women.

JWLI founder and chairperson Atsuko Toko Fish submits a written apology to Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso for comments that disrespect women.

*View in browser* *The Fish Family Foundation*
Press release: February 9, 2024
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JWLI founder and chairperson Atsuko Toko Fish submits a written apology to Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso for comments that disrespect women.
The Fish Family Foundation (Headquarters: Boston, USA, Founders: Atsuko Toko Fish, Larry Fish) established the Japanese Women’s Foundation in 2003.
We launched the Leadership Initiative and have been training and recognizing female leaders who are primarily active in the social sector. JWLI
Fellowship, Champion of Change Japan Award, JWLI
Bootcamp, JWLI
With four scholarship programs, it is a pioneer in social
entrepreneurship and innovation programs in Japan, and the only program focused on women and women-led social change.

Alumni who participated in the program in Boston and across Japan included Davos participants, prominent journalists, and TED speakers. Talks presenters include nonprofit and social enterprise leaders. This ecosystem exists not only in Japan but also at the East-West Center (Hawaii), which was established by the U.S. Congress in 1960, and the Asian Network, a network of over 600 members from 33 countries. Venture Philanthropy Network
(AVPN) to provide opportunities for Japanese female leaders to communicate to the world. JWLI founder and chairman Atsuko Toko Fish was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun with Ribbons by His Majesty the Emperor in 2018 for her efforts to encourage women’s empowerment, particularly in the social sector.

In response to Vice President Taro Aso’s recent comments disrespecting women, Fish submitted the following apology request to the Liberal Democratic Party’s website and Mr. Aso’s office.

*Apology request for Deputy Governor Aso’s comments that disrespect women* February 2, 2024

In a lecture held in Fukuoka Prefecture on January 28, 2024, Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso made derogatory remarks about Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa. We request that you apologize and promise that you will never make such misogynistic comments in the future.

During his lecture on the 28th, Mr. Aso referred to Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa as “auntie” instead of calling her “foreign minister,” which is the most disrespectful way to look at a woman and suggests her age.
(gender discrimination)
Although he praised the woman’s activities, he added an inappropriate reference to the woman’s appearance, saying, “I wouldn’t call her that beautiful.”
Furthermore, during the lecture, he not only misspelled Foreign Minister Kamikawa’s name several times, but also made a statement that made a mistake on the record saying that Foreign Minister Kamikawa was Japan’s first female foreign minister, despite the fact that she was only the third female foreign minister. There was also. These are shameful statements made by the Vice President. It is extremely regrettable that a politician who is supposed to be free and equal has shamed the status of women in Japanese society by making derogatory and inappropriate comments about women in front of the public.

Mr. Aso reportedly retracted his statement on February 2nd, but he has requested that he take the situation seriously and apologize to Foreign Minister Kamikawa and Japanese women, and that he will refrain from making such misogynistic comments in the future. We demand that you promise not to do anything.
Atsuko Toko Fish
JWLI Founder/Chairman

*Supporter name:*
Mayumi Yahata
Yoko Katagiri
Mayuko Hara
Yu Shinagawa
Michiyo Zaitsu
Mako Yoshioka
Junko Yagi
Haruka Nagao
Yuko Masuda
Miki Morikawa
Rika Tanioka
Misaki Narutaki
Yurie Makihara
Eri Sugiyama
Eriko Ito
Jun Tachibana
Azusa Kikukawa
Toshiko Noguchi
Shiho Tanaka
Maki Muraki
Itsuki Doi
Junko Kawata
Asako Noma
Eiko Oshima
Yuki Katayama
Naoko Monma
Mayumi Ando
Tomoko Ohashi
Kiyono Yagami
Akiko Ishiyama
Kumiko Fujiwara
Yuka Hikaruhata
Aya Yoshii
Masaharu Maki
Sachiko Katsuragi
Nanako Tojo
Keiko Sakurai
Yoko Yamato
Minako Kato
Rieko Akamatsu
Masumi Kosugi
Kanade Sakimura
Junko Tsuda
Rinaga Sawanobori
Yuriko Nishikawa
Kozue Sawame
Ayaka Kamiike

February 2, 2024

Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso’s recent remarks, delivered during a speech in Fukuoka Prefecture on January 28, 2024, were an offensive display of sexism and gender insensitivity, directed at Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa. I demand he apologize and commit to refraining from making any further derogatory sentiments directed at women.

During his speech, Mr. Aso addressed Ms. Kamikawa as “* obasan* ” which translates as old lady with a negative connotation, rather than by her official title, exhibiting ageist and sexist undertones. While praising her skills and performance, his commentary on her physical appearance, “I wouldn’t say she is that beautiful,” was inappropriate and unwarranted.

Additionally, Mr. Aso’s speech contained factual inaccuracies. He not only misspoke Ms. Kamikawa’s name a few times, but also misstated on the record that she was Japan’s first female Foreign Minister, even though she was the third. It is disconcerting that an individual of such significance, who should symbolize freedom and equality in society, made these remarks instead. They undermine the advancement of women within Japanese society.

Although Mr. Aso has since retracted his remarks on February 2, he must earnestly address this issue. I demand he apologize to Foreign Minister Kamikawa and women of Japan, while pledging never to make and disseminate such derogatory remarks about women ever again.

Atsuko Toko Fish
chair and founder
Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative
https://jwli.org/
*About details about this release*
https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000032.000062030.html

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