- Shinjiro Koizumi, an environment minister in Japan, has said he would take two weeks off work to be with his child
- The minister's interest to go on leave has sparked debates in the country as only a few men are known to stop work when they have a child
- Koizumi said he would conduct necessary work activities through emails and video conferencing during his absence from office
Shinjiro Koizumi, a Japan’s environment minister, is planning to take two-week paternity leave, a decision that has been rocking the country’s headlines.
The minister said he wants to take the leave so he could be in his child’s life the first month the baby is born, BBC News reports.
It should be noted that this will be the first time a cabinet minister in the country will be taking that kind of leave.
Though both men and women, according to the country’s law, can take up to a year off work when their child is born, only 6% did so in 2018 when compared to 82% of women.
"I intend to take a total of two weeks of paternity leave in the three months after childbirth, during which the mother bears the heaviest burden, on the condition that I prioritise my official duties and thorough crisis management, as I have done," the minister said.
On how he plans to manage his work, he said he will do more emails and video calls and ask his deputies to represent him when it is really necessary.
Koizumi, however, said he would not be absent from “important public activities” like attending parliamentary sessions.
The minister complained about how the Japanese society is very rigid and has been on him since he said he would contemplate taking paternity leave.
"Japan is rigid and outdated because society is caught up with fussing over pros and cons simply because I said I would consider [it],” he said.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that a mother of 11, named Zeo, said that she and her husband, Ben Sullivan, heavily rely on a military-style routine to put their kids under control.
In talking with the media, the parents said that they most times use hours to tag lunch boxes so some of their children do not go hungry.
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