The first wire report over the weekend of Japanese Health Minister, 71-year old Hakuo Yanagisawa, calling women "baby-birthing machines" was the Kyodo English service, and though I dug around, I couldn't find the actual Japanese quote anywhere. Was it one of those odd context or translation things, I wondered?
Uh, no. According to eyewitness reports, Yanagisawa used the term repeatedly, interspersed with apologies like "Sorry to call them 'machines,' but..." that were the of "sorry you feel bad when you hear this," not the "sorry I put it this way" variety.
And yes, chaos has ensued.