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People come up to me every day and ask, 'What happened to women's empowerment?'

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Masako Mori, a former cabinet minister in charge of addressing Japan's declining birthrate, saying that as soon as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new catchphrase "100 million active people" came onto the scene, his other promise of "women's empowerment" disappeared. (Mainichi Shimbun)

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People come up to me every day and ask, 'What happened to women's empowerment?'

I think people have been asking this question since the end of the war or even the Meiji restoration. This should be the quote of the century.

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At is current rate, Japan will have caught up with the rest of the planet in a 100 years or so.

But I have seen very little difference in the role of women since I first came to Japan nearly 20 years ago.

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'What happened to women's empowerment?'

'What women's empowerment?'

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I think the problem is semantics. For most of the world "women's empowerment" means women being allowed to take control of their lives and their bodies, but here it means "We're so desperate for homegrown labor, we're willing to hire even women. We might even pay you. Oh, and we need you to make more babies, too."

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Way to go, Commodore! It's the cultural impregnation (pardon the pun) that keeps it from happening as it should, and as it already has, in most other advanced societies.

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Easy. not much. At least in the sense that it is supposed to be a part of Abenomics.

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'What happened to women's empowerment?'

Simple, the women in Japan never got behind it. It was just a catchphrase, as indicated. Men, especially politicians like Abe, cannot empower women from the top down. It has to be a grass-roots movement from the bottom up -- women demanding the end to the galss ceiling. And the women of Japan are just fine with the current situation.

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Masako Mori, a former cabinet minister in charge of addressing Japan’s declining birthrate, saying that as soon as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new catchphrase “100 million active people” came onto the scene, his other promise of “women’s empowerment” disappeared.

A dissonant dissident?

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Aly RustomAly Rustom asks the important question. It is simply too broad a term as to be meaningless. And if you need to "be empowered", you're doing it wrong.

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I have to agree with jerseyboy. It's hard to blame their lack of enthusiasm for joining the ranks of Japanese salarymen though. Given the choice, who wants that life?

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Women need to empower themselves = no free handouts.

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