You’ve got to hope that this one was "lost in translation"!
Japan’s health minister described women as "birth-giving machines" in a speech on the falling birthrate, drawing criticism despite an immediate apology. "The number of women between the ages of 15 and 50 is fixed. The number of birth-giving machines (and) devices is fixed, so all we can ask is that they do their best per head," Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa said in a speech Saturday, the Asahi and Mainichi newspapers reported.
Birth rates (and dependency ratios) are indeed a serious issue. But perhaps Yanagisawa’s been spending too much time reading Malcolm Galdwell and not enough at charm school!