‘Ban Abortion to Improve Birthrate’ Says Japanese Politician

Japanese politician Noda Seiko makes a controversial statement about abortion and Japan's falling birthrate

Abortion in Japan has something of a chequered history; while the earliest records of induced abortions date from the 12th century, it was banned nationwide shortly after the 1868 Meiji Restoration, then made criminal in 1907 under the Criminal Abortion Law.

While this law is technically still in force today, it has been made somewhat redundant due to other legislation such as the 1948 Eugenic Protection Law, revised in 1966 as the Maternal Health Protection Law. This means that abortion is effectively legal in Japan.

Furthermore, abortion is widely accepted in Japan, since it has none of the Judeo-Christian influence that makes abortion a difficult issue in some Western nations.

This recent column published in the Asahi Shimbun by Liberal Democratic Party politician Noda Seiko suggests that abortion should be prohibited in an attempt to address the falling birthrate. Japanese netizen comments strongly disagree with her proposed policies, highlighting almost uniformly supportive attitudes towards abortion.

From Asahi Shimbun:

‘Falling Birthrate Strategy Should Begin With Abortion Issue’ Says LDP Chairperson Noda

Noda Seiko, Chairperson of the Liberal Democratic Party Executive Council

With 200,000 pregnancies being terminated per year, if we are to counteract the falling birthrate, then we must begin there. I intend to have this reviewed in the party’s Special Committee on Population Decline in Society following the Upper House elections. We will not only prohibit abortion, but instead of prohibition we must also create laws (to mediate) child adoption, and prepare an environment in which children who are born can be brought up in society.

Japan's population and projected population pyramid

Image source: The Economist

Comments from 2ch.net


So she’s saying give birth to unwanted children?


Is she a Christian, this woman?


Fucked up. So she wants to increase the number of unhappy children that much, does she?


Completely disregards victims of rape. What the hell, this bitch.


Is she stupid? Make an environment where we want to bring up kids.


A frightening remark by Noda. It’s true what they say, woman’s greatest enemy is woman.


If you lower the legal age of marriage for girls to 13, I reckon the falling birthrate will resolve itself.


You can’t just prohibit abortion from the perspective of the falling birthrate w Crazy as ever. In the end, what she’s saying is no different from saying ‘Hey, let’s control women’s births and abortions!


Single mothers will increase, and social welfare costs are going to explode.


Welfare benefits for mothers and kids will go up, so, rejection.


First I’d like her to do something about the kids who are born and not aborted, but then murdered.


Actually, it’s a lot of the old hags who are the ones having the abortions. Kids with Down’s syndrome and deformities will increase, and the burden on citizens will grow.


They should poke a hole in 1 in every 100 condoms to go along with this w

Comments from Twitter:


It’s not that I don’t understand her feelings, but I think that first and foremost we should prepare a social environment where we can bring up children. Thus, I think she should take the initiative and welcome adoption, and become a vanguard in society.


What will happen as a result of this? She’s just a crazy person who is only seeing this as a result of the falling birthrate.


I reckon they’re better off accepting bigamy and early marriages (Lolita marriages? [pun on ‘loli-kon’].


Even if they prohibit abortion, that’s not exactly a strategy to combat the falling birthrate.


It’s like those religious forces abroad w

クニさん 06:53

Will she even prohibit terminations for pregnancies in women who are victims of crime?


What kind of fundamentalist country is this? This bitch is just trying to increase friends for her kid because it’s got disabilities, and she had floods of criticism for giving birth at such an advanced age.


I’m against this, because the kids will be much worse off, poor things.


She’s crazy. I bet she thinks we should just go back to the Edo period.


I kind of understand her…but to do it by these extreme means…


This is no good. I think this is only going to carelessly increase the number of unwanted children.

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  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Oh yeah this is gonna end well…

  • Ruaraidh

    Populations will and should fall, they’ll stabilise again soon enough, albeit at a lower equilibrium. Interfering is just such a bad idea, for a multitude of reasons.

    • linette lee

      Japanese can increase their population. But I wonder where will they find room to expand their population. Japan is already a very high density population country. They will have to buy lands from China. China has lands but China needs to shrink 50% of their population. 1.3 billions is too big. 600 to 700 millions is a good size for China. China population is aging too.

      • G$

        You and I both know that China doesn’t REALLY have land. Yes, they technically have a lot of land, but there’s a reason the majority of the roughly 1.34 billion people Chinese population is concentrated largely on the eastern seaboard.

        • linette lee

          huh?? Are you smoking weeds? lol.

        • Joe

          I don’t disagree but what is the reason?

  • Flora

    I KNEW this was coming. I frickin’ KNEW this day was gonna come. I could smell it in the wind!

    But seriously, it’s impossible to have a serious discussion about the birth rate in Japan and NOT talk about their higher-than-normal abortion rates. Not that it’s going to come to any good – if a woman doesn’t want to have a baby she’s not going to have one.

    Banning legal abortion is only going to make the number of unsafe, back-alley kinds explode. Plus, (smart) women are likely going to start getting really obsessive about their contraception – BC pill use is low in Japan now, but no more easy abortions just might change that.

  • god

    still waiting for those hippy comments

  • Kate

    “They should start polking holes in every 100 condoms to go along with this plan”——this made me Lol as I thought about some paunchy old japanese government employee sitting over a stack of condoms and literally polking holes.

    • Hongwu Emperor

      And its the setting for the People Glorious Population Increase Program.

    • Flora

      Actually, I seriously thought that would be their first choice. Enacting a secret deal with the condom companies just might kick up less controversy than attempting to ban abortion.

  • PixelPulse

    This is the first time Ive seen an abortion issue without a bunch of pro-life comments in the comment section.

    • Kate

      I think abortion is necessary. However I think its very, very morally wrong to use abortion as birth control. With as many different kinds of contraceptives on the market, there is absolutely no excuse to accidently get pregnant. Its called using the pill and a condom at the same time.

      • besudesu

        Part of the problem in Japan is that oral contraceptives weren’t widely available or widely used. Although the situation is improving now, there were some kind of smear campaigns that suggested the pill was very bad for women, and these myths still have some currency, making pill use comparatively low, and abortion as a contraceptive method relatively high.

        • G$

          The pill IS bad for women. Asian women don’t get hot flashes, the pill is blamed for that in western women. Women have had trouble conceiving at all after being on the pill for an extended period of time. I researched this before and I could only come up with the conclusion that it IS bad for women, but it tends to not be talked about in the west, so people aren’t really aware.

          • Flora

            Troll (or just ignorant).

            Try listening to medically accepted science instead of whatever fluff you dug up. There has not been a medically proven case of infertility attributed to the pill, nor do they have any bearing on what happens to women in menopause.

          • besudesu

            Actually, most new research shows that the pill is quite good for women, and protects significantly against several cancers of the reproductive system. Still, that’s not really the point. The point is that in Japan there has been a lot of misinformation about the pill in particular, which has lead to higher abortion rates. And if your research demonstrates that the pill is bad for women, I’d love to hear what you have to say about early term medical abortions, since both are hormonal treatments. And if you think that opting to abort a child is actually ‘better’ for women, then think again; the psychological trauma associated with having to do so is arguably far more significant than any of the physiological effects.

          • tina

            contraceptives are pretty advanced nowadays. you’re probably thinking of pills from the 1970’s. it’s come a long way since.

        • stefhen bryan

          just a slight correction in language. please forgive me, I’m an english teacher. (in japan). abortion is birth control, but it is not a contraceptive. Contra means against, or not, or to not. Ceptive is from the word conceive. if a woman needs an abortion, the child has already been conceived.

          • besudesu

            Thanks for pointing that out.

        • tina

          there are many various birth control pills, patches, inserts, foams, i.u.d., innoculations, etc available today. there’s also something called norplant, which is a small implant, the size of a matchstick, and the doctors insert it under your skin through surgery. norplant is 99% effective and prevents pregnancy up to 10 years.

        • tina

          do japanese men use condoms?? there’s condoms available that mimics natural feeling during sex. i’m in new york city, and many major drug stores carry condoms.

  • ….um…when you ban something and make it illegal, people are gonna still do it anyway, thus making it unhealthy, unsafe for both (potential) mother and kid/fetus…. So banning is a horrible idea. I rather it be legal and safe than illegal and effin up a woman’s whole reproduction system down there AND possibly making kids deformed if not aborted.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      We banned murders, so you are saying thats a bad idea?

    • besudesu

      Absolutely. And I don’t think that Noda is going to stand a chance with this proposal, if the netizen comments are anything to go by.

  • Cyberia

    lol japan is fucked

    • iliketowritearticles

      lmao you’re a dumbass

  • linette lee

    Ban abortion to improve birth rate? How dumb. How about give tax break or housing or education tuition assistance for married couples having kids. Give people incentive to give birth and raise kids.
    It’s like for married japanese couple when they have one kid they get 10% tax break on combine income. 2nd kid will give another 10% etc…so on.

  • Pingback: Japanese politician wants to boost the national birthrate by banning abortion()

  • Nilerafter24

    “”It’s not that I don’t understand her feelings, but I think that
    first and foremost we should prepare a social environment where we can
    bring up children. Thus, I think she should take the initiative and
    welcome adoption, and become a vanguard in society.””

    Japan is not a good place to raise kids? seriously? I thought this was one of the best countries in the world to live in?
    Where I come from is definitely not a good place to raise any kind of anything.

    • besudesu

      Japan is not a bad place to raise children, but from the perspective of working women there just aren’t the right kind of frameworks in place to help women work and raise children.

  • arwen


    Here’s where you could start Japan – make day care accessible and affordable, and encourage people to jointly contribute to raising children – don’t leave it just to the women. A quote from the article: ‘Almost 70 percent of Japan’s social welfare spending is directed at people 65 or older, while less than 4 percent supports children and families.’

    Another point to keep in mind is how different the attitude towards contraception is in Japan compared to many western countries – very few women take the pill, so it’s condoms, and when that fails, abortion.

  • Max Ross

    An excellent idea by one of the few courageous politicians to deal with the problem of falling birthrates (and it has nothing to do with religion). All the crude, malicious and misinformed comments by other readers simply reflects their absolute ignorance — and, to a certain degree, selfishness — regarding the issue. The procreative function of any society is the linchpin for the future survival of that society; or do Japanese — and Europeans, for that matter — really want to continue to allow abortion and contraception to slowly wipe out their populations?

    • tina

      abortion has been practiced for hundreds of years. so you’re saying women should resort to illegal backdoor abortions? even if the govt outlaws abortions, abortions will continue. women who want abortions will find a way to terminate their pregnancy.

  • blackpassenger

    this woman sounds like one of those stupid christian republitards, i meant republicans in America. besides, abortion can’t be banned in japan, its a multi trillion yen industry here. Abortion is more accepted than the birth control pill here. lets do the numbers. 200,000 abortions/year at 100,000 to 150,000 yen, thats…………my calculator can’t even display the number. It says 3 to the 10th power in yen. Banning abortion to improve the birthrate is typical ass backwards japanese reasoning. fuzzy logic, as the japanese call it.

  • Julieta

    Considering abortion wrong has nothing to do with religion, but with morality. If you ask any doctor, they will say an embryo is living since the moment of conception. But unfortunately many people intentionally deny this universal truth for their own benefit. Given that the baby is living, killing him/her IS a crime.

    • tina

      that is your belief and your choice. what other women want to do with their bodies is their choice, not yours.

  • tina

    so we should allow more unwanted kids? unhappy mothers? more welfare??

  • guest

    Ms.Seiko, hurry up and die, you bitch.

    A big part of the problem is that many people aren’t even dating anymore, this is just going to scare women off dating anymore. If you are dating, and then you fall in love with someone,enough to want to spend the rest of your life with them, then you might end up choosing to have children after all – if you were on the fence about it before. Some women never want to have children no matter what, but lots of women are on the fence due to insecurity over social status after marriage (will she be forced to stay home), money, proper partner, etc.

    If abortions were illegal, I wouldn’t have sex with men, and I’ll be paranoid enough about rape that I’ll kill first. I don’t want to even risk bringing a daughter into a world where she won’t have rights over her own body.

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