TOKYO — Two Japanese feminist groups Monday demanded that Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone apologize for his remark that women are more interested in the color of his tie than his speeches.
Nakasone made the remark last week to members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a speech that also contained a suggestion that educational levels in the United States are held down by "blacks, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans."
The statement concerning the United States triggered strong protests from American minority group leaders and prompted Nakasone to issue a formal apology.
The remark about women, however, did not immediately spark protests.
"When women watch (television), it seems that they remember the color of my tie but not what I said," Nakasone was quoted as saying.
On Monday, two groups representing an estimated 680,000 women sent a letter demanding that he retract the statement and deliver an apology to Parliament, said Kimiko Takada, secretary general of the New Japan Women's Assn. The other group was the Federation of Japanese Women's Organizations.