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INTEREST: Speak Out! Japan's LGBTQ+ Community Responds to Politician Sugita's Discriminatory Stateme


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Fireminer



Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:12 am Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:
This article touches on important points that should be dealt with more calm and composure than just a reaction using our 21st century western liberal morality standards.

Quote:
"There's nothing you can do about a private individual thinking bigoted thoughts, but there's a climate in which comments on forums like 2chan or Twitter that are visible to others are treated as “individual freedom.” As long as backbiting and bigotry are included in “individual freedom,” you're going to get people like this. It's not as if politicians or celebrities are a special case. Society as a whole needs to radically rethink slander, hate speech, and barbed remarks," Arai said.


In my impression the concept of free speech includes speech that one might regard as offensive. If we ban all speech that someone might regard as offensive we will essentially ban all sophisticated forms of political discussion and be in a state of dictatorship.

Being an asexual myself I personally found the remarks by Sugita to be quite repugnant in it's language but they also touch on a valid social issue.

That social issue is a universal problem of pooling public pension programs. These pension programs use the taxes paid by the working age people to support retired elderly people. The problem is that this kind of program provides incentives for people to not have kids and if nobody has kids there will not be working age people to pay the taxes to support the elderly in the future. Before the development of public pension systems (like the US social security system) people's children were their main retirement fund: when they became elderly they expected their own family to support them.

But with public pension system elderly people can just use the taxes paid by the other people's kids to support themselves in the future. Since raising kids entails in a huge personal cost many people just choose to not have kids anymore. As a result we have many countries were people are not having enough kids to maintain the financial viability of their social programs, which includes Japan.

Sugita remark was wrong mainly because it is mostly a problem of straight people and not LGBT or asexual people since the former consist of about 95% of the population so if 5% of people don't have kids that will not have a significant impact on the overall population. Also, LGBT people can easily adopt kids and since their fraction in the population is small they can be used help to raise kids born from straight parents anyway so being a member of the LGBT category does not really contribute to this social problem.

So instead of complaining about LGBT people what Japan must do is to reform their tax system to provide higher incentives for people to have kids. For instance, providing a substantial reduction in income taxes for each kid a couple might choose to raise (including by adoption) plus allowing LGBT couples to also benefit from those incentives if they adopt kids (by for instance, legalizing gay marriage).


Typical American. Blame the social security system for the problem of society.

While the solutions you suggested are actually quite viable, they are also address only one cause of the problem, that is, the financial cost of raising a child, which seems to me has been going up faster than the average income in many country. How would most couple in, say, New York or Los Angeles be able to have children when they can barely pay the monthly rent?

(Have you actually talk to people? I have only been in Japan for two years, but from the survey that I have done as part of the sociology program, almost all Japanese have spoken to have no expectation that they would be taken care of by the country's social welfare system when they turned old. That actually encouraging them not to have children, as the money that should had been going into raising a child was instead used for investments and savings. Young working Japanese hope that they could afford a real retirement in the future.)

Furthermore, to my knowledge, Romania when it was still under the rule of Ceausescu, they put up both tax incentives and punishments to encourage people having more kids. It did not work. Even in France, where they still maintain the financial incentives nowadays, it took an inherent flexible view of "families" view, a pro-woman workforce, and an education system, from the nursery going up, that takes a very active part in the growth of children for the whole thing to work.

About that "flexible view of the family and pro-woman workforce" I have just said, it is the second obstruction for people to have children. In Japan, Germany, Russia, etc. there exist the unspoken stigma that women should never have children while working professionally. Women are being pressurized to marry early, have children, and don't have full-time jobs in these countries, and they actually resist that by not doing so.

In contrast, not only working professionally but things like late marriage, divorce, and single parents are viewed more favorably in Scandinavia. And, surprisingly, without the social pressure, career women in Scandinavia are more relaxed about having children and therefore more likely to do so.

In short: Blaming the social security system is wrong, and the solution to this problem extend beyond the scope of tax reforms.

(Also, a note on Freedom of Speech or Democracy in general: It only works when going together with the concept responsibility, or at least when people actually know and give a shit about the consequences of their actions. Hatespeeches are the opposite of that.)
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:27 am Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Sure hope he's not a graduate from Tokyo Medical University.


We can only hope.
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Shaterri



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Is there a reason that this article was removed from the ANN homepage? I no longer see it in the 'main page stream' anywhere, but plenty of other articles in the Interest category both before and after it still appear. This is somewhat distressing to see, and I hope this is just a quickly-correctible oversight and not deliberate action on ANN's part.
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FireChick



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 1619
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:06 pm Reply with quote
So, according to Sugita, LGBTQ people can only have worth if they have kids? Jeez. Talk about idiotic, and this is coming from a straight person who has absolutely no desire to have kids. I know Japan has a problem with low birth rates and all, but why place the blame on LGBTQ people? That's not only absurd, but downright stupid. Evil or Very Mad
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Fireminer wrote:
Typical American. Blame the social security system for the problem of society.


I am Brazilian actually. Laughing But it is well established in the economics academic literature that social security has been one of the main factors behind the decrease in fertility rates across the world.

See: http://users.nber.org/~denardim/research/fertility_socsec_draft06.pdf

In the abstract:

Boldrin,De Nardi and Jones wrote:
This is inconsistent with empirical results which find a reduction of between 0.7 and 1.2 children born per woman over the relevant range. In the Boldrin and Jones model increases in the size of the public pension system always decrease fertility, regardless of the type of costs incurred to raise the children. In addition, the model accounts for about half of the observed variation.


So according to this study the social security system is responsible for about half of the decrease in fertility rates in developed countries over the 20th century. They also conclude that the other half can be explained as the effect of the expansion in access of private retirement funds.


Last edited by Jose Cruz on Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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octopodpie
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:17 pm Reply with quote
Shaterri wrote:
Is there a reason that this article was removed from the ANN homepage? I no longer see it in the 'main page stream' anywhere, but plenty of other articles in the Interest category both before and after it still appear. This is somewhat distressing to see, and I hope this is just a quickly-correctible oversight and not deliberate action on ANN's part.


The article is in the marquee only. I put it there so it would stay at the top of the site longer. Is there a layout setting that removes the marquee that you might be using?
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Shaterri



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 171
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 4:36 pm Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:
Shaterri wrote:
Is there a reason that this article was removed from the ANN homepage? I no longer see it in the 'main page stream' anywhere, but plenty of other articles in the Interest category both before and after it still appear. This is somewhat distressing to see, and I hope this is just a quickly-correctible oversight and not deliberate action on ANN's part.


The article is in the marquee only. I put it there so it would stay at the top of the site longer. Is there a layout setting that removes the marquee that you might be using?


Just my brain, apparently - I'd skipped over the marquee completely when hunting for the article again. Many apologies, and thank you for the explanation! (And for marqueeing it, for that matter!)
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nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 799
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:51 pm Reply with quote
Katsuragi222 wrote:
Kougeru wrote:
It's almost funny how not Liberal the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan seems to be.

Because it is a conservative party, the English name is just a bit odd. In Japanese it is 自由民主党 Jiyū-Minshutō
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_Democratic_Party_(Japan)


"jiyuu" in this context maps to "liberalism" pretty exactly. [in non-political contexts it's normally translated "freedom"; "freedom" parties, of course, are basically all of the Right...]

Liberalism is opposition to the idea of the government... putting its thumb on the scale, I guess. Shaping social power outcomes.

Originally it arose as opposition to the idea of supporting hereditary aristocracies and
and state churches and what have you, and back then it was of the left, but... well, all that stuff collapsed into irrelevance a century ago, and the same basic "don't interfere to help people" manifested as "don't interfere to help poor people" and at that point -- whenever it happened in the polity in question -- it became of the Right. Some parts -- saudi arabia, or china -- there are still aristocratic &c structures and in those parts liberalism is of-the-left, but most of the world?

Now. The US things are different, because:
+ the worker's/labour/socialist movements that arose elsewhere around the end of the 19th century were violently repressed in the US. I mean, death squads and shit, state-sanctioned extra-judicial killings. Also some things tied to the bad ways americans run elections too complex to go into here, but mostly the murder. Everywhere else the centre of politics shifted sharply left as a result, but not the US.
+ jim crow, which is to say apartheid. Which is to say... the US population considered as individuals is no more or less racially prejudiced than anywhere else, but what is different is that in the US -- most notably but not only the south -- governments built societies around keeping black people down. Even with the old planter aristocracy basically irrelevant, anti-liberal forces still had "I want the state to put its thumb on the scale to stop black people being happy and successful" still had -- and has -- political salience. Liberalism was and is opposed to this.

Essentially liberals in the US have things to do that overseas liberal groups have already largely achieved; this makes liberals in the US a force for social improvement [on the left] and liberals outside the US a force for social stasis [on the right].
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Psycho 101
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Joined: 14 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:29 pm Reply with quote
Fireminer wrote:


Typical American. Blame the social security system for the problem of society....


I suggest you forgo anymore ignorant blanket judgments during your time here. Especially since you already stuck your foot in your mouth on this one. Debate an opinion but do not cast blanket judgments or other insults.
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Kadmos1



Joined: 08 May 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:01 am Reply with quote
So, if the Japanese LDP is akin to the U.S. Republican Party, it seems the Japanese Constitutional Democratic Party is akin to the U.S. Democratic Party. I wonder what a major Japanese political party with "Republican" in their name would function and look like.
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Fireminer



Joined: 29 Jun 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:16 am Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
Fireminer wrote:


Typical American. Blame the social security system for the problem of society....


I suggest you forgo anymore ignorant blanket judgments during your time here. Especially since you already stuck your foot in your mouth on this one. Debate an opinion but do not cast blanket judgments or other insults.


You are right, and I apologize for my previous statement.
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Fireminer



Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:19 am Reply with quote
Jose Cruz wrote:
Fireminer wrote:
Typical American. Blame the social security system for the problem of society.


I am Brazilian actually. Laughing But it is well established in the economics academic literature that social security has been one of the main factors behind the decrease in fertility rates across the world.

See: http://users.nber.org/~denardim/research/fertility_socsec_draft06.pdf

In the abstract:

Boldrin,De Nardi and Jones wrote:
This is inconsistent with empirical results which find a reduction of between 0.7 and 1.2 children born per woman over the relevant range. In the Boldrin and Jones model increases in the size of the public pension system always decrease fertility, regardless of the type of costs incurred to raise the children. In addition, the model accounts for about half of the observed variation.


So according to this study the social security system is responsible for about half of the decrease in fertility rates in developed countries over the 20th century. They also conclude that the other half can be explained as the effect of the expansion in access of private retirement funds.


(This is the first time I’ve heard about the Caldwell and Barro&Becker models, so until I have read more into this topic, I’ll refrain from commenting on these models as well as the mathematics framework built around them.)

If you look at this report (http://www.ipss.go.jp/webj-ad/WebJournal.files/SocialSecurity/2008/winter/JJSSP%20vol.7%20no.2_%20Dec%202008%20-%203%20Tetsuo%20Fukawa.pdf), you can see that Japan, the country with birthrate decreased the fastest, has the social security pensions-to-GDP rate only average to five other developed countries, while the funding for social security-to-GDP was the lowest. The result in correlation with the aforementioned statistics could be seen from Figure 2(b).

According to OECD statistics, (https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=SOCX_AGG), you can see that, yes, there is a steady increase of old age pensions expenditure-to-GDP in Japan which started around the same time as the declining birthrate, but like this report (http://www.ipss.go.jp/s-info/e/ssj2014/PDF/ssj2014.pdf) pointed out, the cause of implementation of the universal healthcare system and the rise in social benefits for old people in the 1970s were largely caused by the sudden increase in expenditure for hospitalized old people and Japan’s positive economic outlook then.

(My second, unrelated misgiving about the research you’ve cited is that it didn’t take into consideration developing countries (yes, I know the research and you stated that the focus is on developed countries, but still) whereas the social security expenditure is low and investing into retirement fund is relatively unknown to most people, yet the birthrate has still been steadily decreased. Examples here would be Thailand, Uzbekistan, and Bolivia, whose birthrates all started going down in the 1970s.

I am not denying the idea that parents see their children as a part of their retirement, or parents are motivated to have more children so that they can be taken care of better in the future – many people in the rural areas of my country Vietnam once held that thought, and surveys did show that a reason for the declining birthrate in the rural areas was because people were moving away from that thought.

However, like the idea suggested in the fifth passage above, this change in mindset was bought about not by people expecting social security would take care of them – living of pensions is an alien thought in rural Vietnam, where old people are expected to work either until death or when they become too weak. Instead, a lot of parents simply recognize that their old strategy doesn’t work because:

- Having too many children means you can’t taking care of them properly (lacking time and money). As the result, the children are unable to compete in the workforce because of physical and educational disadvantage

- Being unable to compete with the workforce, children of this group usually are stuck with the same low-paying agricultural jobs as their parents. And when the parents die, the cropland is divided between their children, further lowering the profit margin (with some crops, you’ve got to apply scientific procedures on a wide scale to hope for profit.)


In short, yes, the relationship between the social security system and fertility rate is two-way, but in my opinion, the system giving more benefits to people does not discourage them from having more children, but the opposite.
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FenixFiesta



Joined: 22 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:13 am Reply with quote
What we have here is an "escape goat" issue, Mio Sugita points out the glaring issue of Japans current population issue and throws the Lesbian community under the bus (only natural born women can give birth to kids).

The disconnect is that Sugita is effectively laying down logic is that "if every fertile young woman in Japan just found a suitable husband, we wouldn't be in such a dim foreseeable future"

So what we have is that a marginalized part of society is unfairly blamed for the woes of a Nation.
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Kaylee Smerbeck



Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 72
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:26 am Reply with quote
Kadmos1 wrote:
So, if the Japanese LDP is akin to the U.S. Republican Party, it seems the Japanese Constitutional Democratic Party is akin to the U.S. Democratic Party. I wonder what a major Japanese political party with "Republican" in their name would function and look like.

Not exactly LDP is almost always in power somehow I can't explain how Japan is a one party democracy
Also liberal meaning right in some countries and centrist in others is a bug bear of mine as a political scientist
Finally note Abe is fiercely anti immigration even though one reason many western birthrates have stabilized is immigrants
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Jonny Mendes



Joined: 17 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Kaylee Smerbeck wrote:

Not exactly LDP is almost always in power somehow I can't explain how Japan is a one party democracy
Also liberal meaning right in some countries and centrist in others is a bug bear of mine as a political scientist
Finally note Abe is fiercely anti immigration even though one reason many western birthrates have stabilized is immigrants


Unlike the US, Japan have many parties (11 last election) so the vote is more divided.
Most parties are center and center-left what makes more easy to LDP to win because have the majority of vote on the center-right and right wing.
Left wing vote are more divided.

Also, Japan as a all is more center to right-wing. Conservationism and Nationalism are strong, even in the new generations. For example of the top 5 most read national newspapers of Japan, the most read are right wing.

Only one time a center-left party win (the other time LDP still win but the left make a minority coalition and was able to govern). The left win were followed by LDP landslide win.

Even if last approval pools put the government in the negative territory (5 out of 7 last month are negative, but the margin is very thin) the projections/pools for 2021 elections give LDP near or above 40% with the most close party, the center-left Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan at most with 13%.


About Liberalism.

Right wing liberalism is about Economic liberalism and ultra Economic liberalism.
Free market, free trade, open competition, less intervention of the government on economic and social issues such as poverty, health care and education.

Left wing liberalism is about Social liberalism
Civil and political rights, more intervention of the government on economic and social issues such as poverty, health care and education.
In the US case it also include progressive issues like LGBTQ+ rights, abortion or gun control.
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