Japan is planning to introduce a more flexible paternity leave system that can be taken soon after childbirth to raise the persistently low rate of men taking such leave and lessen the burden on their partners.
After heated debate among ruling party lawmakers, the Japanese government failed to include a commitment to allowing married couples to use different surnames in its basic gender equality promotion policy approved Friday.
Japan will aim for a 35 percent quota for female parliamentary candidates by 2025, Cabinet Office officials have said, hoping that setting a concrete target will advance gender equality in the political realm. Currently, only17.8 percent of candidates for the House of Representatives were women in the most recent elections in 2017.
The requirement by many of Japan's firms that job applicants indicate their gender and even provide a photo on resumes has left the country out of step with the international norm. But an internet petition campaign stressing that such practices can lead to discrimination has collected over 10,000 signatures.
The Swedish Embassy in Japan hosted an event Sunday to increase articles on women in the online collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia with the aim of narrowing the gender gap on the internet. About 40 people wrote new entries for Japanese female writers and athletes based on reference materials. They also translated English articles about foreign women into Japanese.
A female mayor was forced to give a speech outside a sumo ring on Friday after being refused entry because of her sex, just two days after the Japan Sumo Association drew heavy criticism for telling women to leave the ring even though they were trying to rescue a collapsed man. The raised ring, called dohyo, is regarded as sacred and women, considered "ritually unclean" in the male-only sport of sumo, are forbidden from entering. "Female mayors are also humans. I am frustrated that I cannot give this speech on the dohyo just because I am woman," Tomoko Nakagawa, mayor of Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, said in her speech from a platform set up beside the ring at a sumo event in the western Japanese city.