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Japan fast-food chain fires official over sexist comments

TOKYO (AFP) – One of Japan’s most popular fast-food firms said yesterday it fired a top executive who reportedly suggested a marketing strategy of getting “women addicted” to the company’s products.

Yoshinoya, which operates a chain of restaurants serving cheap beef bowls in Japan and abroad, did not immediately confirm the exact comments made by Masaaki Ito, who was a
managing director.

In a statement, the company said he had been fired for “extremely unacceptable words and deeds”.

Ito reportedly said the firm should try to “get women addicted” to Yoshinoya’s food because “once men treat them to expensive meals they won’t eat beef bowls any more”.

His comments were posted on social media by a person who said they attended a university lecture where Ito spoke.

The firing came after outrage against the comments on social media sites.

On Twitter, former Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Saori Ikeuchi called the remark “blatantly sexist” and “disgusting”.

Other users pointed out that Ito appeared to be disparaging Yoshinoya’s food.

“What’s equally incredible is how little pride and love he has for his company’s own products,” one Twitter user wrote.