'Sex strike' by Tokyo women fails to stop election of new governor

A group of women had pledged to stop having sex with men who voted for Yoichi Masuzoe

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The Independent Online

Tokyo has elected a new governor despite a “sex strike” held by a group of women in protest against men who voted for him.

The action from "the association of women who will not have sex with men who vote for Masuzoe" comes after 65-year-old Yoichi Masuzoe said in an interview with a men’s magazine in 1989 that women are “not normal” during their periods, and are therefore unfit to govern.

Three thousand women are following the campaign since it started last week, the Guardian reported.

Their profile reads: “We have stood up to prevent Mr Masuzoe, who makes such insulting remarks against women [from being elected] … We won't have sex with men who will vote for Mr Masuzoe."

Backed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Masuzoe won Tokyo’s gubernatorial election on Sunday, and was given a mandate to restart Japan’s 50 nuclear reactors.

Newly elected Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe (left) and his wife Masami (right) raise their arms in "Banzai" shouts along with supporters at his campaign office in Tokyo on 9 February.

He defeated two candidates who had pledged they would end nuclear power, in a contest that was widely seen as a test of public opinion on atomic power in a nation shaken by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In the landslide election, he received 2.1 million votes: more than the combined total of the two anti-nuclear candidates, human rights lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya and former Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa, who finished second and third.

With the city cleaning up from a rare snowstorm, turnout was a low 46.1 percent.

"The Fukushima disaster has left me without words, but reducing our dependence on nuclear power needs to be done gradually," Masuzoe said after his victory.

Yoshiro Mori, president of organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics, welcomed Masuzoe's victory from Sochi, Russia, where he is attending the winter games.

Before becoming involved in politics in 2001, Masuzoe was a political scientist and a celebrity on TV chatshows.

He remarked in the 1980s: "Women are not normal when they are having a period … You can't possibly let them make critical decisions about the country [during their period] such as whether or not to go to war."

A similar anti-Masuzoe campaign was launched by a separate group of women last Wednesday. The site has attracted 75,000 hits a day and 2,800 people have signed its petition, according to the Guardian.

The election was held to replace Naoki Inose, who led Tokyo's Olympic bid with great fanfare, but resigned late last year over a money scandal.