Yoshinoya Holdings Co., a major company making Japanese beef bowl said on Tuesday that it had sacked a managing director who made derogatory, sexist comment about women. Masaaki Ito, the managing director had made comment about getting naive young women “hooked” on its products. The company said Ito’s conduct was “completely unacceptable”.
Masaaki Ito had made the comment during a marketing lecture at Waseda University in Tokyo. Reuters reported that company spokesperson said that he could not confirm Ito’s exact words.
Yoshinoya company said that it had stripped Ito of his positions with the company.
“His extremely unacceptable words and deeds could not be tolerated from the point of view of human rights and gender issues,” Yoshinoya said in a statement. It later said it would dock company president Yasutaka Kawamura’s pay by 30% for a three-month period through June.
The company has made efforts to expand appeal of its dishes to women.
When it comes to women’s economic participation and opportunity, Japan has some way to go. It ranked 120th out of 156 nations in World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Index.
The topic was trending on Japanese Twitter, with many posters expressing outrage.
“Let’s deconstruct this remark – he showed contempt for women, young people, people from rural areas and his own company’s products,” one poster wrote. “In short, he pretty much insulted most of his company’s customers.”
Waseda University apologised as well.