Women and elections

I'd like to suggest some points that may be relevant to tomorrow's debate regarding whether or not there is a need to increase the representation of women in Japanese politics. 日本の政治における女性の参加を増やすこと(つまり、女性国会議員などの数を増やすこと)が必要かどうかに関するディベート関連の論点を紹介したいと思います。

An argument that can be made against that idea that more women representatives are needed is that through free and fair elections the people (including the women) choose their representatives, so the will of the people is thereby properly determined -- the end. 更に女性議員を増やす必要がない側の論点の1つは、公正な選挙を通じて、有権者(もちろん女性を含めて)が自分たちの代表者を選んでいるわけですので、結果とそれでいいはずです -- おわり 。One question that might be raised about this argument, however, is Has the will of the people really been expressed in the elections without distortion? しかし、このような主張について提示できる疑問として、民意は本当にゆがみなどなく選挙を通じてあらわれているのしょうか、というのが

Here are some problems that might distort the expression of the will of the people. 国民の意思のあらわれをゆがめる恐れのあることとして挙げられるのは次のとおり:
  • Old boy networks (OBのネットワーク)
  • Money in politics (政治献金などの仕組み)
  • Media bias (メディア・バイアス [ゆがみ])
If there has been distortion and the elections don't represent the true will of the people for some reason, one can argue that steps need to be taken to correct the situation. 何らかのゆがめが認められるなら、結果に問題があるかも知れないし、より良い結果が出るような改善が必要だという議論が成り立つ訳です。


Debate preparation

On Monday we will have our debates on the two topics that have been chosen. 選ばれた2つのテーマに関するディベートはいよいよ月曜日です。Several seminar participants have written about their topics in their blogs. ゼミ参加者の中には、ブログでテーマについて書いています。In response to the posts that have been written in Japanese, I have summarized some of the key points in English in the form of comments to those posts. 日本語だけで書かれている投稿については、私がコメントの形で要点を英語で書いています。There isn't much time until the debates so I would like everyone who has not written in their blogs yet to do so as soon as possible. ディベートまではあまり時間がありませんので、まだ書いていない人にはできるだけ早くブログに書いてもらいたいと思います。If you are not sure what to write in your blog, please begin by reading what I have written in my blog about the debate and what others have posted so far. 何を書いたらいいかがわからない場合は、まず私がディベートについて書いてきたことや他のゼミ生が書いていることを読んでください。 At the very least, I would like everyone to have commented on one of their classmate's blogs by Monday. 少なくとも、月曜日までに全員に他のゼミ生がブログに書いたことについてコメントをしてほしいと思います。

On the day of the debate, it will be very important that each member of your team have a variety of reasons prepared that you can give in favor of your position. ディベート当日までに、チームメンバー一人一人が自分たちの主張の根拠となる理由をいくつか言えるように準備しておくが重要です。I will give you a few minutes at the beginning of class to share ideas so that everyone will be able to participate. 授業のはじめに、チームごとに全員が参加できるように理由などについて打ち合わせをする時間を与えます。Therefore, it will be particularly important to come to class on time. 従って、時間を守って出席することは特に重要となります。



Example of affection in public

In order to debate the pros and cons of "affection in public" we need a concrete example. How about this one? 人前でのいちゃいちやについてディベートをするためには具体的な例があるといいかも知れません。これはどう?



In today's class and over the next week, I would like you to do the following. 今日の授業や次の授業までに次のことをやってほしいと思います。
  1. In small groups (少人数のグループで)
    • Begin making a list of reasons to support your position (自分のグループの立場を裏付ける理由のリストを作り始めること)
    • Begin making a list of reasons your opponents may use to support their position (相手のグループの立場を裏付ける理由のリストを作り始めること)
    • Talk about ways to respond to your opponents' arguments (相手チームの理屈にどう対応するかについて検討する)
  2. On your blogs(ブログで)
    • Write about a web page or other resource you found on your own that is relevant to your topic(テーマ関連のウェブサイトや本などで自分自身で見つけたものについてブログで書くこと)
    • Write comments on something another member of the class has posted about one of the debate topics on his or her blog(ゼミのメンバーがブログでいずれかのディベートのテーマについて投稿した内容についてコメントを書き込むこと)

Debate Rules

Both teams will prepare two opening statements (summaries of the main reasons supporting your position), one in Japanese and one in English. Each statement should be no more than two minutes long. それぞれのチームは英語と日本語とでチームの立場を裏付ける主な理由を説明するopening statementを準備します。それぞれの言語でのstatementは2分以内に終わらせなければなりません。

Debate following the opening statements must obey the following rules. Opening statement以後のディベートでは次のルールに従わなければなりません。
  1. Each statement must conclude within one minute of the conclusion of the preceding statement from the opposing side (not including time for translation). 発言は対するチームの発言の終わりから1分以内に終わらなければなりません(通訳の時間は含まれません)。
  2. Each statement must respond in some way to the preceding statement. 前の発言を無視せず、なんらかの形で言及しなければなりません。
  3. All team members must speak. すべてのメンバーは発言しなければなりません。
The opposing team will receive one point for any infraction. 以上のルールに対する違反があった場合には相手チームに1点が与えられます。At the end of the debate (15 or 20 minutes?) the team with the most points wins. ディベート修了の時間になったら(15分?20分?)点の多いチームが勝つことになります。If the number of points is equal, the team with the most even participation among members wins. 同点の場合は、もっとも参加が均等だったチームの勝ちになります。

Women in Politics

We decided to have a debate about the need (whether there is one, that is) to increase the number of women in Japan's parliament (the Diet). 1つのディベートを女性の国会議員の数を増やす必要があるかどうか、というテーマで行うことが前回の授業で決まりました。

Here are some relevant facts and sites. 関連する基礎知識やサイトなど:
  • http://www.iwdc.org/resources/timeline.htm

    1946: Women vote and stand for election to the House of Representatives for the first time in Japan. Of the 79 women running for office, 39 are elected.(女性が初めて国会議員になったのは1946年。)

    1960: Nakayama Masa is appointed Minister of Health and Welfare in Japan, becoming Japan's first female cabinet member.(初の女性大臣)

  • http://www.geocities.jp/senkyo_power/

    This is a very useful site (in Japanese). I recommend the following pages for basic data about the situation in Japan:

  • http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/dem_fem_par-democracy-female-parliamentarians

    Female parliamentarians (most recent) by country. 国別の女性国会議員の割合。

      #1 Sweden: 42.7%
      #2 Denmark: 38%
      #3 Finland: 36.5%
      #9 New Zealand: 30.8%
      #14 Australia: 26.5%
      #22 Canada: 23.6%
      #26 China: 21.8%
      #45 United Kingdom: 17.1%
      #61 United States: 13.8%
      #89 Japan: 10%
      #128 Korea, South: 5.9%

    This ranking is no longer correct. The number of women in Korea's parliament, for example, has increased dramatically recently (click here). このランキングは古くて、最近は韓国の順位が上がっています。リンクをクリックしてみてください。Korea now has 20%!

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kumamoto-i/message/9064

    This article says "Some members of the Kumamoto City Council objected to the language of a proposed bill for sexuality equality for participation in society, saying that it was "a denial of traditional Japanese culture." Scroll to the bottom of this page to find the response to this message. このページの下の方にある返信投稿へのリンクをクリックしてみてください。It contains links to Japanese articles as well.日本語の記事へのリンクがあります。「熊本市議会:男女共同参画条例、大幅修正し強行採決 『理念骨抜き』と反発も」

    Perhaps the result might have been different if more women were represented. 女性議員の数がより多ければ、結果は違ったのでは?

  • http://www.chunichi.co.jp/article/living/life/CK2007041502008848.html

    「女性道府県議 過去最多190人に 過半数占める神奈川・大磯町」. This is an article about a place in Japan (Oiso Town in Kanagawa) where women make up over half of the elected representatives.

  • http://www.dpj.or.jp/news/?num=14177

    「鳩山幹事長、参院女性議員らがそろい「女性キャラバン」発足会見 女性パワーで日本再生を!」This is an article on the site of Japan's democratic party about a new "women's caravan" and the need to rebuild Japan through women's power.

  • Quotas

    The following Japanese article explains that the use of quotas is being consider as a means of increasing the number of women in Japanese politics. 次の記事によると、女性議員の数を増やすために、クォータ制(割当制度?)が検討されているそうです。

    I learned from this article that quotas are being used quite widely throughout the world. クォータが広く使われているようです。See the following sites. 次のサイト参照:

    Perhaps our debate should focus on the pros and cons of establishing a quota system in Japan, as Korea, Canada, Thailand, China, the United Kingdom and Australia have done.


Public affection

In class, we decided to have one our debates about whether or not foreigners (perhaps from English speaking countries) should express affection toward a boyfriend or girlfriend in Japan in front of others, as they might at home (assuming, that is, that affection would be shown more freely in their home country than it would in Japan). 授業で、ディベートのテーマの1つを「人前での男女の愛情表現」にすることにしました。人前で愛情表現(例えばキスなど)をすることが多い国から来ている外国人が、日本でも同じように振る舞っていいか、ということで議論することになりました。

Here are some web sites that may be helpful in preparing for this debated. 準備するに当たって次のサイトが役に立つのではないかと思います。
  • http://l25.jp/index.php/m/WB/a/WB000610/tpl/laboratory01_11/bkn/20070927/id/200709270501/ccd/052/rfg/1

    日本語サイト。英語で簡単に要約します。This site provides the results of a survey about our topic (恋人と人前でいちゃつく; being physically affectionate with your lover in front of others). A majority say they can "forgive" such behavior but many say they cannot tolerate it. Other survey results are also included.

  • http://www.lovecosmetic.jp/vote/082.html

    日本語サイト。英語で簡単に要約します。Simple survey about whether or not (or underwhat circumstances) people feel that they personally can kiss in front of others.

  • http://www.koibita.com/ank/report/backnum/081023.html

    日本語サイト。英語で簡単に要約します。Another simple survey (but this one has more information, with pie charts) about how people feel about kissing (as a participant, not observer) in front of others.

  • http://item.rakuten.co.jp/book/3682814/

    日本語で書かれた本。英語で簡単に要約します。The title and theme of the book advertised here is "Where has shame gone?" The author points out that Ruth Benedict identified Japan as a shame culture. Yet, young Japanese people seem to be loosing their inhibitions about kissing in front of others.

  • http://amano.blog.so-net.ne.jp/2005-12-08

    日本語サイト。英語で簡単に要約します。This is written by AMANO Yukichi, a well-known author and commentator in Japan. He is complaining about the sight of young people embracing and kissing in front of others in Shibuya.

  • http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/1700310/

    日本語サイト。英語で簡単に要約します。The author says there is a place in Korea where young couples are "allowed" to kiss in front of others. By the way, the author mentions that couples who engage in such behavior are (or have been) referred to as "bakappuru" ("baka" + "couple").

  • http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%90%E3%82%AB%E3%83%83%E3%83%97%E3%83%AB

    日本語サイト。英語で簡単に要約します。This is the Japanese Wikipedia entry for "bakappuru."
Before we debate, we will need to clarify our proposition. ディベートをする前に、命題をより明確にする必要があるでしょう。"Affection" is a little vague. 「愛情表現」は少し曖昧。Is kissing in front of others better? 「人前キス」の方がいいか?Should we choose a specific situation or place? 具体的な場所や状況を指定した方がいいか?