News On Japan

Japan’s ‘womenomics’ needs reboot to boost GDP by 15%

Jul 13 ( - As Japan mulls how to reinvigorate its economy in the post-Shinzo Abe era, there’s an obvious place to start: gender.

The tragic July 8 assassination of the former prime minister, the longest-serving leader in Japanese history, has been almost reflexively fawning. Fair enough. Yet in days since, new data remind us of the danger of reframing Abenomics as a successful effort to raise Japan’s economic game.

In 2012, Abe took power for a second time. Chastened by how ignominiously the earlier 2006-2007 stint went, Abe returned with James Carville’s “it’s the economy, stupid” mantra from the 1990s running through his head. Arguably no economic priority won Abe greater attention than his pledge to make the female half of Japan’s 126 million people “shine.”

Tokyo’s “womenomics” effort ended up rather dull, instead. On Wednesday, the World Economic Forum ranked Japan 116th in its gender equality index, behind Burkina Faso, Tajikistan and Guatemala (it was 101st in 2012). And most importantly, 14 rungs behind China, 17 behind South Korea and 67 behind Singapore.

Japan does even worse when it comes to gender parity in politics, ranking 139th out of 146 countries. This puts Japan behind Bahrain, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia.

There is, admittedly, some potentially good news to report. In Sunday’s upper house parliamentary election, women grabbed a record 35 of 125 seats, or 28%. The bad news: past milestones of this sort proved to be false dawns as the patriarchy expanded its power. ...continue reading


An independent support facility in Aichi Prefecture, where several staff members have been arrested, is in the spotlight for its unusual methods of dealing with troubled children.

Makoto Nishimoto, a former Miyazaki City councilor who goes by the name Super Crazy Kun, has been sentenced to four years and six months in prison for forcibly taking a woman in her 30s, whom he knew, into a hotel in Miyazaki City last September and assaulted her by restraining her arms and committing non-consensual intercourse resulting in injury.

NTT has unveiled Japan's first technology aimed at improving the power efficiency of data centers, which are known for their high heat generation and substantial power consumption.

A pair of premium melons from Yubari City in northern Japan has fetched 3 million yen in the first auction of the year. That's about 19,000 dollars. The luxury fruit is a popular gift in the country. (NHK)

A new facial recognition system, set to be widely used at next year's Osaka-Kansai Expo, has been unveiled.


MORE Business NEWS

The financial results of Japan's five major trading companies for the fiscal year ending March 2024 shows Mitsui & Co. has surpassed Mitsubishi Corporation to top the list with a net profit exceeding one trillion yen, while Sumitomo Corporation struggled with significant impairment losses. Although these companies have benefited from the weakening yen, the situation is more complex than it appears.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. has revealed that customer information from their auto insurance policies was leaked to competing companies.

Household electricity rates next month are expected to rise across all ten major electric power companies in Japan.

Mercari, the operator of a popular flea market app, has launched a new feature allowing users to list items for sale without initially setting a price. Starting May 23, Mercari's new function enables sellers to list items without deciding on a price upfront, instead allowing them to set a price later based on offers from potential buyers.

The yield on 10-year government bonds, a key indicator for fixed mortgage rates, closed at 0.980% on May 21, approaching 1% for the first time in about 11 years.

The average price of a newly built condominium in the Tokyo metropolitan area in April was 74.12 million yen, down more than 3 million yen from a year ago. However, it has risen by over 10 million yen compared to two years ago, indicating it remains at a high level.

In a bid to create a sustainable logistics network, Japan's largest parcel delivery company is launching a new initiative aimed at significantly improving load efficiency for both shippers and carriers.

In an extraordinary promotion, 22-year-old Rino Morosawa has risen from a part-time worker to CEO. She is now the new president of Skyscraper, a company that operates CoCo Ichibanya Curry House franchises. Here is the story behind her rapid ascent to the top in just seven years.