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Lawmakers set up 'moms and dads' parliamentary group headed by internal minister Noda

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda (Mainichi)

A new parliamentary group made up of lawmakers with children was established on March 1, chaired by Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda.

The non-partisan "moms and dads" parliamentary group aims to achieve goals such as creating day care facilities on the premises of the Diet building in Tokyo.

Noda, who has shown her intention to run in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s presidential election in autumn, is apparently trying to underscore her efforts concerning child care.

Roughly 40 male and female lawmakers from nine political parties -- LDP, Komeito, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the Democratic Party, the Party of Hope, the Japanese Communist Party, Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party -- attended the group's general meeting.

After the meeting, Noda told reporters: "My feeling is that the situation of women working in the Diet is something that is still not 100 percent endorsed. We (lawmakers) need to be the force to start working on ensuring that pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing are regarded by society as ordinary lifestyle choices."

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