Japan pledges to ‘work harder’ to fix gender pay gap

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged to “work even harder” to tackle gender inequality, including one of the world’s worst gender pay gaps.

Kishida said that it was “imperative” for Japan to close the pay gap, appoint more women executives and reverse the trend of women taking up lower-paying contract work after giving birth.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said more needed to be done as Japanese women still found it “quite difficult”, to balance work and household duties despite some improvements in working conditions for women.

Japan has the widest gender pay gap in the Group of Seven. Japanese women in 2020 on average earning about 75 percent as much as men for full-time work.

Despite efforts by successive Japanese governments to tackle gender inequality, Japan ranked 116 out of 146 countries for gender parity last year. 104 of 190 countries in the World Bank’s latest report on women’s economic opportunities.

Female chief executives lead less than 1% of companies on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, according to Tokyo Shoko Research.

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