Baby booted out of Japan council meeting

  • 25/11/2017
Trevor Mallard and Yuka Ogata.
Trevor Mallard and Yuka Ogata. Photo credit: Parliament TV/Reuters

A baby brought into a Japanese municipal assembly chamber by his lawmaker mother has been promptly ejected because his presence was against the rules, an official said on Friday, highlighting the hurdles faced by working women in Japan.

Yuka Ogata, a member of the Kumamoto city assembly, brought her seven-month-old son into the chamber on Wednesday but she was asked to take him out because of a rule limiting attendance to assembly members, city official Naoya Oshima said.

Ms Ogata tried to stay but the speaker of the assembly eventually persuaded her to take the infant out. She handed him over to a babysitter and returned.

"I wanted to highlight the difficulties facing women who are trying to juggle their careers and raise children," the 42-year-old Ms Ogata was quoted by the Asahi Shimbun daily as saying.

It's a stark contrast to New Zealand, where a baby recently sat on Speaker Trevor Mallard's lap as Parliament voted on an extension to paid parental leave.

The baby was three-month-old Heeni, daughter of Labour MP Willow-Jean Prime.

Reuters / Newshub.