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Japan eyes reform of outdated labor systems based on gender roles

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Too little too late !!

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

as more women choose to get divorced ? I see it’s their fault. Nice start.

4 ( +23 / -19 )

I place female economic empowerment at the center of my new form of capitalism

Kind of a weird contradiction, but ok.

as more women choose to get divorced and live longer than before

Only women?

I'm not sure, but some of the wording shows exactly how deeply outdated notions of gender roles are entrenched in J society. Seeing how companies can get creative with bypassing laws on overtime, I'm not sure just how much will be achieved by making them 'disclose' a bunch of numbers.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Chasing the female vote before the July upper house election. After that, it will be shelved. Remember Abe's female drive?

22 ( +34 / -12 )

The Japanese government on Friday called for a revamp of old-fashioned labor practices, taxation and social security systems that have left the nation's gender gap largely intact for years, taking issue with the stereotypical notion of the roles expected of men and women.

Japan seems to be taking a page from the playbook of the Democratic party in the US.

Neo-liberal policies that disenfranchise labor and enrich billionaires. But "pinkwashing" nods to ideas of gender equality.

Before that, Japan's outdated labor practices of unpaid overtime, wage theft, and the more recent practices of low wage gig and contract work should be addressed.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Chasing the female vote before the July upper house election. After that, it will be shelved. Remember Abe's female drive?

Oh yeah, 'womenomics', that was... something.

Also, aren't all these guys members of an ultraconservative organisation that firmly supports "traditional" gender roles?

9 ( +20 / -11 )

Remember Abe's female drive?

exactly. nothing more than typical LDP pledges. Just turn a deaf ear. The LDP is a dinosaur regime locked into the 19th century and nothing will change.

-2 ( +17 / -19 )

I personally doubt very much if any will thing will change, we are in 2022 yet Japanese Women and Minorities are still facing the same obstacle and Hurdles their grandparents faced.

You can't accomplish or even propose changes while the same G O Boys are sitting on top, this TOP DOWN system must be dismantled in order to have genuine changes.

4 ( +15 / -11 )

will boldly implement steps

Whenever they say “bold”, simply replace with “timid” and it comes across more aptly.

Seriously when was the last time you saw them do something bold? Except spending too much money I guess.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

""The new policy blueprint says there is a need to change the old mentality that helped support the social systems throughout the country's rapid economic growth decades ago -- that men should work and women should stay home and do the housework.""

Old Mentality is still sitting at the top as we read this article, and they will most likely have a say in what ever in on the table Japan needs fresh blood, fresh ideas, fresh faces so this New visions can move forward.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Experts see the government as facing the formidable task of changing how people think and act because it will require a long-term policy vision and financial support

Especially when the cabinet has only two women. Way to go, leading by example!

Changing mentalities is difficult everywhere in the world but it is particularly difficult in Japan where the decision-makers both public and private have never stepped out of the Showa era.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

Woman (in general) are the backbone of Japanese society and economic success. They are far tougher and harder working then the self entitled men who in may cases just view them as maids, extensions of their mothers and child carers. Without woman this society would collapse overnight. If I were to open a company here most, if not all my employees would be woman!

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Why not start small? Actually enforce current labour laws, if that goal is achieved, then make it law that all workers get the same pay for the same job? And by the way how about Ex-husbands are legally bound to pay something for their children under 18 years of age. If that can be achieved in the next 50 years we might have the basis for a blue print.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Ok, more eying, and no actual policy changes.

The issue has been eyed to death and I don't know what other things they can learn and express interest in making legislative changes to with a decade+ timeline to enact stuff like all other LDP laws that are not related to them. Heck even Abe is still openly criticizing and having sway on the leaders for saying his Abenomics didn't work.

Lead by example and knock a lot of these issues out in your own cabinet and the companies will follow. Enact fees, or goal based incentives for ones that reach and exceed them. We'll hear the same story next season and a big ol "its difficult" added in to show how hard they are working on it.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

more women choose to get divorced and live longer than before.

Choose to ge divorced? Who writes this stuff?

assist women in acquiring necessary digital skills and finding a job

What they need is medical schools to treat them fairly at admission time, or (male) bosses that hire them because of their skills. Most of my female uni students are fare more capable in every field than their goofy male counterparts.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Great, I'm sure women will be very happy doing 12 hour days and the compulsory nomikai with the boss after. Be careful what you wish for ladies.

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Great, that women get more opportunities and equal pay. I support that. What I don’t support and hate is when companies promote people because they are a woman when there is a more qualified male candidate. That bias goes against the very moral of what they are trying to combat.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Most of my female uni students are fare more capable in every field than their goofy male counterparts.

I have the same experience!

And the line about "assisting women in acquiring digital skills". Seriously? Who is going to do that? Are the erai hito, i.e. men in their 60s, going to teach digital skills to those inexperienced twenty-somethings? This would be comedy gold if it actually didn't affect people's lives.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

FXGai: Japan is leading the world in the non fossil fuel industry. That bold, and the genda mix in H & D is show that women are getting involved in greater numbers. It is attitude of the male teachers lower education stereotyping pupils that the problem

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Abolish the trainee systems and allow foreign workers to fully participate in Japan's free-market!

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

This won’t go down with the dinosaurs who dream of returning to Showa period.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Gender gap is one of the problems, but let me tell you what is the SOURCE of all problems.

WORKING SYSTEM.

Long hours, overtime, abuse, low wages, no holidays, gender gap, patriarchal structures, promotions based on seniority not on experience etc.

More women have entered the workforce in recent years, although many tend to work part-time.

Why do you think that women tend to chose part-time? Because no-one wants to come to work for 8 hours and make extra 5 of overtime and being abused by your boss.

So I think first WORKING SYSTEM should be changed, let people take their holidays 有休 make obligatory 25% extra overtime pay, stop this nonsense of promoting/hiring based by seniority but go with skill and many more.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Every person is entitled to equal opportunity. Having said that, very few woman actually want the lives that mean lead.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Every person is entitled to equal opportunity. Having said that, very few woman actually want the lives that men lead.

I totally agree but sadly they don’t even have that choice, not yet? I’m guessing on women having to pay an extra tax for getting a divorce coming out of this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Cricky. My wife and I are divorcing and I have never heard of such a tax but I will ask my lawyer. If such a tax exists then it is truly a shame and should be abolished.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Are the erai hito, i.e. men in their 60s, going to teach digital skills to those inexperienced twenty-somethings? This would be comedy gold if it actually didn't affect people's lives.

Lol... exactly. Perhaps the ex- digitalization minister who doesn't know how to use email will be put in charge of it. Ha.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Oh look.

Cheap talk.

No action.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Japanese offices need a steady supply of OL's to provide wives for the hardworking salarymen. On marriage then can leave , have a kid and then fulfill their time attending PTA meetings, cooking bentos and joining English conversation classes or playing tennis. Why fix something that isn't broken?

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Kishida's going in the right direction and is actually trying to do something unlike his predecessor A_e. (It's a bad three-letter word.)

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

You can tell by the photo that those are all "managers" who don't do any work. The workers would have laptops.

That photo reminds me of when I was working in corporate Japan ... except there is a woman at the main table. The entire office group had 2 meetings each day. 10am and 5pm. Everyone had to be there to go over their work planned and completed each day.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Kishida is absolutely hopeless

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

The LDP knows the writing's on the wall, everyone knows they're outdated dinosaurs, so Kishida's trying what his mentor Abe was good at- empty promises.

Unfortunately it worked for Abe for 12 years (he had to quit in order to vacate), and it'll probably work for Kishida as well.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Old wine in old bottles. They've pushing this drivel for 20 years and nothing has changed, nor is it intended to change anything, it's just a distraction from the real issues, which the LDP refuses to tackle.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

At least the government is recognizing the huge problem it has on labor, unfortunately that still means we are many years from effective reforms that are necessary right now.

It would be very nice to be proved wrong, but it takes exaggerated optimism to believe so. After all many other reforms have been lukewarm at much.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good one Sam. But youre leavin out the best part… allow me:

"and having said that,

very few men don't actually want the lives that women lead."

Sam WattersToday 09:11 am JST

Every person is entitled to equal opportunity. Having said that, very few woman actually want the lives that mean lead.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Too late for me! I encouraged my wife to work and get a certificate or job skill for 25 years. She would just look at me with disgust.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I find it comical that this article was next to the one on low birth rates.

Many women see the hell that men go through and are quite content not to subject themselves to the same conditions.

That said, the opportunity should allow for it should they choose to pursue such hardship.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

When it comes to labour regulations, please do not forget to scrap:

.役色定年 (yakushoku teinen) where one above xx years of age is being stripped of his seniority and has his salary taking a hit of several 10s of percent while...essentially continuing to do the same job

.再雇用 (saikoyou) where one reached a certain age of xx years (normally 60) is being let go by the company who can re-hire him as a non-perm (i.e. contractor) for a lesser salary and less social expenses for doing essentially...the same job

.predatory companies such as 派遣会社 (hakengaisha) and the haken-system overall where budgeted money is being taken from hard-working staff from useless intermediaries and where hiring companies can skimp on social expenses

.most of the working options (派遣 (haken)、契約 (keiyaku)、無期雇用 (mukikoyou)、契約 (keiyaku)、etc) of which most do solely exist to shaft workers, enrich parasitic intermediary companies and allow hiring companies to skimp on social expenses

.the current system and regulation around 過労死 (karoshi) or death by overwork and start to hold accountable hiring companies and strictly regulate time on the job

.scrap or re-organize the regulation around the 源泉徴収票 (gensenchoushuuhyou) which when negotiating a new job the potential hiring company can request and by looking at it erases all chances for the candidate to be able to actually "negotiate" (as the hiring company can see exactly how much the candidate was making in this current/last) job

Please also:

.erradicate ブラック企業(black kigyou) which are generally well-known

.enforce rules around conflicts of interests between politicians and Japan inc. (Keidanren)/ Japanese companies (amakudari)

.implement regulations about fund-raising parties (献金パーティー) or kenkin parties where Japan inc. (Keidanren) / Japanese companies can get on politicians cozy side by slpashing them with cash

.introduce solid reproduction rights for females

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/may/31/japan-to-approve-abortion-pill-but-partners-consent-will-be-required

Now, THAT would make for a nice "start", me thinks but pretty much all laws in Japan are in dire need for review and upgrade to 21st century standards!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Interesting that in these types of scenarios there are “men” and “women” as the only genders.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I just don’t get it again, why still everyone is keen on exchanging one big income that is sufficient for a whole family with a housewife and many kids plus car and plus holidays, by two lower and insufficient incomes even when both are working and can’t even afford children which has already lead to almost childless and aging society and following loss of global innovation leadership. But I guess, there are enough people out there who can explain me that or name any one advantage additionally to that so-called theoretical gender equality. Only one, I am fair again and don’t want to make that puzzle completely unsolvable.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Kishida thinks he is Abe. Pathetic.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

So if men and women need to have the same salary….

do you think women’s salary will actually be increased to man level? Or man level decreased to woman level?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Nothing will happen. Any efforts to implement any such measures will be half-hearted and everyone will ignore them.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

A number of individuals identified the root cause, the working system. But the scope of the root cause needs to be expanded to include social systems. Availability of childcare is essential to allow for two working parents. The demand to work overtime must be rooted out since women will prioritize time with children over daily late hours at work or joining frequent nomikai. The fundamental way in which Japan goes about its work and social order will need to shift in order to allow women to contribute to the workforce without having to make unreasonable sacrifices. I encourage Japan work closely with academic researchers, particularly at MIT, to apply System Dynamics modeling for identifying root cause and policies that drive appropriate countermeasures without introducing unintended consequences.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The tax system needs updating so that I can get tax relief for financially supporting my same sex partner through this pandemic. But then that would mean changing the homophobic Japanese mindset that currently bans the legal recognition of same sex relationships. Seems like Japan needs to recognize it's stuck in the past, at least fifty years behind the rest of modern western societies like the U.S.A and E.U.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Marriage should guarantee women stability for life though. If a household can't live off one income that's not a good sign

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@HJSLLS

The demand to work overtime must be rooted out since women will prioritize time with children over daily late hours at work or joining frequent nomikai.

I'm not disagreeing with your main point here, but I'm not sure there's something inherently 'male' or 'female' about wanting to spend time with your families. The main difference is that women are expected to do that while men are taught to focus on a career from a young age. Now, I'm not saying equal opportunities would fundamentally change individual choices, but they might enable more freedom for many. I know quite a few men who cherish their time spent with their families but the current working system in Japan doesn't allow them to do that.

The root cause, as I agree with you, is the working environment. I think it's giving both men and women very little agency in the choices they make in life. This exploitative system forces men to work unreasonable hours, partly to create value for shareholders and their employers, partly to conform with social expectations of being a member of the workforce and 'real' men, i.e., the breadwinners. The same system expects women to be nothing but housekeepers and, when allowed in the workforce, have to be grateful for lower wages, fewer opportunities to progress and, ultimately, even if they do overcome those obstacles, having to make the same or more sacrifices to their lives outside of work as men do.

Both men and women lose under this system. The only winner is capital. And that's why these super-wealthy politicians and people whose interests they represent won't make any meaningful changes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm curious to know what the catalyst for this is. Where did it come from? Why now?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wow one woman in attendance? They are of to a good start…not!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My fellow beautiful hard working woman. Welcome to club of Karoshi. You wanted and now you got it.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Improving the working environment for men is also a priority,

Don't call it a come back......Kidding right?

I logged 67 hours last week at the main job (career).

I get at best 4 days off a month. Oh, and teach English on the side those days off.

(The Zoom Juku thing) Show me a foreigner who is not doing some side hustle of the main who is single like me.

How about this Kishida.

LG gas- killing me. Thank you Putin.....

Electric- killing me.

Water bill- killing me.

Cancer insurance- killing me.

Inflation-killing me.

Car and bike insurance-killing me.

Road taxes- killing me.

Then it is time to pay the rent. -Not bad actually...no complaints there.

Lagging economy and fierce competition. Yep killing me. How's about we normalize everything and set a precedence how a country should be run. So other countries can follow suite. Where is that Japanese ingenuity?

After 27 years in this county.....I am done. I leave August.....Close enough though I can come back anytime and keep my P.R.

But in my line of work. Better places to live in work in Asia....Little sketchy where I am going. But at least I will have some money in my pocket.

(single guy un-married tax)----guess what?

KILLING ME!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

BlacklabelToday 12:28 pm JST

So if men and women need to have the same salary….

do you think women’s salary will actually be increased to man level? Or man level decreased to woman level?

So ... in your mind, women always make less than men? Funny, you seem to be the type who would refuse to believe there is a gender salary gap. :)

And there isn't a third option, the option to pay people what they are worth instead of by their gender? Guess that never would have occurred to you.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japanese offices need a steady supply of OL's to provide wives for the hardworking salarymen. On marriage then can leave , have a kid and then fulfill their time attending PTA meetings, cooking bentos and joining English conversation classes or playing tennis. Why fix something that isn't broken?

Great comment, you summed up perfectly Japanese wives here. There's no way in hell they are giving up that to sit at a desk for 10hours a day.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

My fellow beautiful hard working woman. Welcome to club of Karoshi. You wanted and now you got it.

Perhaps once the gender pay gap is eradicated and women carry the same burden as men then the suicide rate will become equal also, because the current 100% more male than female suicides in Japan tells an interesting story.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@TokyoJoe.

An ugly stat only to supersede with the male counter parts for sure. Put an attractive young Japanese woman with the men on the same playing field in the same office at 10+ 12+ hours a day. Bound to see some spiked analytics not just suicides but other categories as well like S.H.

Do not forget the age difference as well.

Ah yes, change and growth. Etai na.....

And no I am not sexist. I am realist.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The government plans to make it mandatory for firms with 300 or more employees to release gender pay gap data.

Why 300, why not 100? will also the temporary staff be included within the 300?

Improving the working environment for men is also a priority, and the government said it needs to make it easier for men to take paternity leave and work from home. Didnt Mr Abe do something like this not solong ago? but you also have to convince men to take that time off, not just "carry on as normal" going into the office

Changing laws is one thing, changing attitudes is a bigger problem. so many people are intrenched with the drudgery of life they can see further than the end of there nose.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Great, that women get more opportunities and equal pay. I support that. What I don’t support and hate is when companies promote people because they are a woman when there is a more qualified male candidate. That bias goes against the very moral of what they are trying to combat.

This is the classic go-to response of the reactionary right. People who go for decades without the slightest mention that women are being passed over by less capable men because of their sex, yet when there is any discussion about reducing structural inequality, then it is suddenly conflated with positive discrimination. And yet they are rarely able to point to any examples of positive discrimination in practice that affect us day-to-day.

People who appear to be tacitly in favour of the status quo suddenly become equality campaigners in the face of the non-existent positive discrimination.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The government plans to make it mandatory for firms with 300 or more employees to release gender pay gap data, and assist women in acquiring necessary digital skills and finding a job by setting a three-year intensive period.

Maybe a translation error but this sounds like nonsense ?

three year intensive period ? What ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Womenomics 2.0

Rinse and repeat PR, right down to the token woman in the photo full of elderly men.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Gender inequality needs to be fixed. Sad thing however, when it comes to government reform, usually it is all talk and no action or half-action. The process itself to implement realistic and timely solutions will take time....have seen this with the MY NUMBER card implementation process nationwide which was very inept and inefficient, with many who received temporary cards in the mail winding up throwing them out because there was no clear widespread communication this initiative would happen! It is still not smooth sailing and the nationwide database and technology systems and infrastructure are so old, the systems cannot talk to each other.

New ideas against an old and outdated backdrop, what a shame! This is why we need action oriented people regardless of age, race, gender and risk takers to move things forward and cut out the bureaucracy which is the cause of the hold up in many cases!

With this gender inequality reform process, most likely there will be a blueprint for the blue print for another blueprint for the new policy blueprint, which after it is reviewed, pretested for the pretest, then ultimately tested......well folks once there is a final plan and it is implemented, we could be in the year 2044!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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