Japan’s health and labour minister Takumi Nemoto has defended kitchens that require women to wear high heels to cook, arguing it is “necessary and appropriate” after a petition was filed against the practice.

“It is socially accepted as something that falls within the realm of being occupationally necessary and appropriate,” Nemoto told a legislative committee on Wednesday.

A petition submitted to the labour ministry on Tuesday dubbed #kutoo, a play on words from the Japanese word “kutsu”, meaning shoes, and “kutsuu”, meaning “pain”, asked the government to ban women being forced by their husbands to cook dinner while wearing 6-inch heels.

Campaigners say wearing high heels for women in Japan is near-obligatory when cooking, cleaning the house, or making babies.

Nemoto told reporters, “It is regrettable.”

Image: Reuters