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35岁才准生小孩?日本企业规定结婚生育年龄 Japanese workers are being emailed schedules telling them when they can get pregnant

中国日报网 2018-04-08 09:00




Japanese workers are being given schedules dictating when they can get married or give birth, it has been revealed.

The disturbing trend first came to light after a nursery worker's husband spoke out to say his wife was being bullied by her boss for getting pregnant 'out of turn'.

Since then dozens of other women have come forward to share similar stories, with one 26-year-old woman saying she was told to wait until 35 to conceive - despite already suffering from fertility issues.

The initial complaint came in a letter to newspaper Mainichi Shimbun last month, from the husband of a woman who works at a nursery in Aichi Prefecture.

He wrote: 'Eight months into our marriage, in January of this year, we found out that my wife was pregnant.

'My wife, who is a child care provider, appeared glum and anxious over the news.

'The director at the child care center where she works had determined the order in which workers could get married or pregnant, and apparently there was an unspoken rule that one must not take their "turn" before a senior staff member.

'My wife and I went together to apologise. "We're sorry we got pregnant," we said.

'The director grudgingly accepted our apology, but since the next day, has been chiding my wife with harsh words, such as, "How could you so selfishly break the rules?"

'My wife feels guilty thinking about the hard labor conditions of her colleagues.'

While the man admits 'we are at fault for not planning well' he goes on to ask: 'Who benefits from having their "turn" to have children dictated, and following those rules?'

The letter prompted a national outpouring of sympathy and confessions from other workers that they were being forced to live by similar rules.

Toko Shirakawa, a journalist who specialises in Japan's low birth rate, said the policy is common in workplaces where the majority of staff are female to make sure the workload is spread evenly.
专门报道日本低生育率的记者Toko Shirakawa说,这种政策在女职员占多数的公司很常见,目的是确保工作量均匀分配。


In another case, a 26-year-old working at a cosmetics company in the Tokyo suburb of Mitaka said she was sent an email mapping out the marriage and birthing schedule for herself and 22 female colleagues.

The email also came with a warning that 'work gets backed up if four or more people take time off at the same time. Selfish behavior will be subject to punishment.'

She was then told by a supervisor that she would have to wait until age 35 before getting pregnant, despite suffering from fertility issues.

'How are they going to take responsibility if I put off getting pregnant and lose my chances to have children altogether?,' she said.

Japan is notorious for its tough working conditions and punishing schedules which have led to some staff dropping dead on the job.

Miwa Sado, 31, a journalist for public broadcaster NHK, died in 2013 from heart failure after logging 159 hours of overtime in a single month.
31岁的Miwa Sado是公共广播公司NHK的记者,2013年她因为在一个月内超时工作159个小时,导致心脏衰竭而死。

The country even has a word - karoshi - which means 'death from overwork'.

That culture has left precious little time for raising a family and is rapidly causing a population crisis, with fewer babies born last year than at any time since records began in 1899.

In turn, that places more pressure on workers as they have to take on increased duties to make up for the declining numbers of staff.

The government has vowed to tackle the problem by raising the fertility rate from its current 1.44 children per woman to 1.8 children per woman by 2025.

Japan now provides free education, has expanded nursery care, and allows fathers to take paternity leave in order to tackle the problem.

Local governments have even set up speed-dating services across the country to get people to partner up.


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