Zero applicants for plan to promote women at work

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  • 20

    Yubaru

    Hundreds of firms had been expected to apply for cash rewards in exchange for reaching targets to place women in high-ranking jobs and train female workers for senior positions. Under the plan launched last year, successful firms would each receive up to 300,000 yen in compensation.

    What a joke. 300,000 yen? Not even one month's salary for an executive here. Just goes to show how much Abe really "values" women.

  • 5

    SenseNotSoCommon

    Under the plan launched last year, successful firms would each receive up to 300,000 yen in compensation.

    If it's framed as something that deserves compensation, do they expect success?

    The spokeswoman blamed the strict conditions for qualifying for the scheme, admitting it was “not a good program.”

    Quelle surprise.

    A less stringent offer would begin from October with the payout doubled in some cases, she said.

    And if that doesn't work?

  • 14

    sighclops

    Was nothing but lip service from the beginning

  • 20

    kyushubill

    "A lack of childcare facilities, poor career support and deeply entrenched sexism are blamed for keeping women at home. "

    Hey I have an idea, solve these problems first.

  • -1

    jasmoran66

    If you have to bend over backwards to make something happen, then perhaps it wasn't meant to happen.

  • 8

    TheGodfather

    "Japan has one of the lowest rates of female workforce participation in the developed world..."

    And the the lowest birth-rate... So if the women aren't working and they aren't having babies... what exactly are they doing all day??? ;-)

  • 5

    warispeace

    Since this corporate welfare went unused, how about returning it to poorer taxpayers?

  • -7

    zurcronium

    And the the lowest birth-rate... So if the women aren't working and they aren't having babies... what exactly are they doing all day??? ;-)

    Parasite wives. On the sofa eating bon-bons and watching TV. But to be fair some men in Japan do not want their wives to work, that is part of the problem.

  • 22

    LFRAgain

    TheGodfather,

    ... what exactly are they doing all day??? ;-)

    Probably running a household. Yes, that's a real thing. The low birthdate does not necessarily mean Japanese women aren't mothers. Single-child families are becoming the norm in Japan, hence the low birth rate. It's not, as you seem to have assumed, that Japanese couples (it takes two to tango) have elected to go childless. Families with children, even one child, still need someone in the family to take care of that child while the other adult in the relationship earns income (note the point in the article about a lack of childcare options). In Japan, that role usually is related to the woman in the relationship (note the comment at the end of the article about rampant sexism in Japan).

    Furthermore, young Japanese women and men are putting off marriage until much later than ever before. Add to this the problem of underemployment, where women are effectively discouraged from entering the workforce because if they make more than the rough equivalent of US$10,000 per year, they can no longer be claimed as a dependent on tax forms and the family takes a significant hit in taxes, degrading quality of life. The after-tax result of that $10,000 would barely cover annual daycare costs, which effectively eliminates any economic gains from a second income and further negating the need to send a child to daycare in the first place. Women are forced to either work at places that pay pitifully and only part-time, or eschew employment altogether.

    Your thinly disguised suggestion that Japanese women are sitting on their behinds all day, sucking off the teat of society, is poorly informed.

  • -7

    tmarie

    There really isn't a shortage of daycare for women working FULL TIME in most places. The crying is coming from women who are working PT and under the 1.3 million spouse benefits cap. They would like to have their cake and eat it to in the forms of pension, health care, tax benefits AND sending Taro off to be taken care while they work 10 hours a week. my city is full on them and I know from speaking to many other women that their city is full of them too.

    There is also a myth that many are looking after elderly parents. There was an article on here about a year ago that stated that only about 20% are looking after older family members.

    What are they doing all day? Well in my area those without kids are either working PT a few hours a few, taking hula times a week and enjoying cake sets. Those with kids usually work PT. Both enjoy the spouse benefits that are paid for by those of us working FT. That includes the working poor and just above the poverty line single moms.

    The only way Japan will get women off their bums and serious about working FT is to get rid of the spouse benefit but don't hold your breath on that. Abe and his group would be out of office in minutes if they dared to try.

  • 7

    marcelito

    What a joke of a policy. Yet Abe still sprouts his BS fantasies about having 30% of management positions filled with women by 2020 .....in 4 years!! WT...but hey, when they make next to zero progress and start looking like hot air fools they`ll just "re-interpret " those targets.

  • -4

    Eppee

    And the the lowest birth-rate... So if the women aren't working and they aren't having babies... what exactly are they doing all day??? ;-)

    Having lunch in fancy restaurants with friends while the husband gets his 500 yen lunch allowance.

  • -9

    Gon Mike

    And the the lowest birth-rate... So if the women aren't working and they aren't having babies... what exactly are they doing all day??? ;-)

    ecchi da yo ,,,by yahoo japan daz****

  • 8

    sangetsu03

    Believe it or not, many Japanese women, probably most, do not want to work. We can't assign all the blame to sexist male executives. If a woman really wants to work, she can certainly find a job. It is quite funny that here in the central Tokyo area, many women have in fact gone to work, funnier still is that many have eventually started earning more money than their husbands. Your typical "Marunouchi OL" earns a good deal more each year than the average male salaryman.

    Women are not stupid, if they don't want to join the Japanese rat race of one-hour commute, long hours at the office, mediocre pay, and a glacial promotion system, who can blame them?

    And in the end, it is not the lack of women (or men, for that matter) in the workforce which is the problem. The problem is that Japan's domestic economy is uncompetitive, and overpriced, and the only jobs which pay well happen to be in the metro areas, where most homes are too small to raise a family comfortably. Adding more women to the workforce is not going to solve anything, if anything, it will make things worse as women who work will probably have even fewer children, and the population will decrease even more quickly.

  • 14

    Tim_Fox

    The problem is not wives who are sitting around lazy. It is the extreme pressure on women to be Stepford wives. Non-working mothers are expected to babysit her aging parents and in-laws, prepare perfect meals, do laundry everyday, take a job in her kids PTA (the jobs are surprisingly time consuming in Japan), take a job in her neighborhood (there are time-consuming neighborhood jobs which make all private home ownership feel more like a coop), and not to mention required volunteerism in the form if all day attendance at her child's sporting events. These kinds of social obligations really drive against any passion most women have for a career after marriage.

  • 4

    Alphaape

    Women are forced to either work at places that pay pitifully and only part-time, or eschew employment altogether.

    I've heard this from time to time, but there are women all over the world who will make less than the $10000 (US equivalent) that a Japanese working mother/wife could make, and yet they have a brood of children. It all depends on what type of lifestyle one wants to have.

    It seems then that the Japanese economy is not as robust as they would have the public to believe, yet they keep hoping people spend like everything is ok in hopes of keeping the machine going.

  • 5

    gaijintraveller

    Wasn't this Abe's third arrow? It seems all three have missed their target, so let's try three more.

  • 3

    Scrote

    Another glorious victory for Abenomics.

  • 9

    fxgai

    But a 120 million yen budget earmarked for 500 expected applicants went unused, said a spokeswoman for the health ministry which administered the program.

    Thumbs up if you are sure they'll find another way to blow away this money.

  • 8

    tmarie

    The problem is not wives who are sitting around lazy. It is the extreme pressure on women to be Stepford wives. Non-working mothers are expected to babysit her aging parents and in-laws, prepare perfect meals, do laundry everyday, take a job in her kids PTA (the jobs are surprisingly time consuming in Japan), take a job in her neighborhood (there are time-consuming neighborhood jobs which make all private home ownership feel more like a coop), and not to mention required volunteerism in the form if all day attendance at her child's sporting events. These kinds of social obligations really drive against any passion most women have for a career after marriage.

    Now imagine being a working mom with all this pressure. And where is the pressure coming from? Certainly not the men, who are too busy to care if their child has Yokkai Watch characters on their bento. This crap is because these women need a pecking order in their lives and bullying other moms is the way they get it. PTA is created busy work by... SAHM. Working moms certainly aren't suggesting weekly meetings at 10:00 during the weekdays. EVERYTHING you mentioned is your post is created by women. Women who are at home who then expect FT working moms to drop everything and help out. This pits working moms against SAHM. If women WANT to do these things then by all means but forcing others to do it is what is causing this Stepford wives BS to continue. Sadly, until more women are working FT, this will continue.

  • -2

    toshiko

    Ladies who worked up ;adder are no longer young bsby caring mothers. Nissan lady in photo is 46, Be realistic. Insulting middle or older age with baby care allowance. Like Nissan, corporations already have promotion than womabomic imsgination.

  • 7

    smithinjapan

    And so the lip-service has failed again. Get ready for Abe to make a speech in a month saying he promises to promote women in the workforce... from NOW... no wait... NOW!... no, from NOW.

  • 14

    kohakuebisu

    LFRAgain's analysis is correct and very appropriate for this topic. To split hairs somewhat, I think the biggest problem is not the tax relief that men get by having their wives as dependents but more the free shakai hoken the wife gets by remaining a dependent. If she earns more than the 10,000USD equivalent, she completely loses the pension and health care she could get as a dependent and has to pay for her own cover. I don't think it's a sliding scale and simply a case of paying the whole lot if you hit the low threshold.

    The man has to be earning a lot of money for the 600,000 yearly allowance for a dependent to equal much of a loss in tax relief . At 20% its only 120,000 a year. Conversely, shakai hoken for the wife is going to be worth upwards of 40,000 yen a month. That's 500,000 a year. Employers love dependent women too because they don't have to chip in for shakai hoken. They will also never get their dependent female employees asking for a pay rise (!) because all they want to do is earn less than the magical amount.

    This situation works as a huge market distortion for the supply of female labour. Every country has stepped tax rates where people near the thresholds might want to play the system to their advantage, but the shakai hoken situation rewards women for not earning. I think there are close to 20 million dependent women in Japan, and a lot of them will have free shakai hoken to lose if they work too hard. It's a huge issue.

  • 8

    sighclops

    Some interesting comments on here. I think to address the problem you have to really get to the root of it - perceived gender roles in Japanese society. My ex-fiance had no intention of working once we were married, as her mother & grandmother had done the same. In my experience, there are two groups here - one group who would like to rejoin the workforce once they've had kids, even in a minimal role. The other group is quite content with the 3LDK Minato-ward-cafe-and-bakery lunches, yoga & eikaiwa lesson kind of lifestyle - even those who hold university degrees! The men don't get off scot-free here, though. There are those who feel that household & even child-rearing duties are solely the woman's role in the family. It's this kind of dysfunction that is the result of the old boys' club driving the country into the ground. Very little support regarding maternity leave (lucky to have your job when you come back), ridiculous working hours (regardless of gender), and just a general sense of over-attachment to a lifestyle dynamic akin to the 1950s.

    I've said it time & time again - corporate Japan is the root of all Japan's problems.

  • 8

    Ricky Kaminski

    In a country known for bending over backwards to secure government funding this is particularly embarrassing. Zero applicants? Another gerontocracy gold medal. Go boys, go!

  • 3

    tmarie

    There are those who feel that household & even child-rearing duties are solely the woman's role in the family.

    And I am sure if Japan did a poll to find out who actually believes this one would find it is WOMEN and older men. How many young dads do you see in the park with their kids on the weekend with mom? Many. Men really are the victims of this all, not women. They work themselves into early graves because wifey wants her pension and medical paid for by the taxpayers.

    Yes, corporate Japan is part of the problem but it's easy to keep men at work and make them do unpaid overtime if they are the only person in the family making enough money to live on. Families I know who have both spouses working seem to have a heck of a lot more time for famiy, themselves... because they don't "have" to stay late and play the silly waiting game here like the majority of men - and a few women - do.

  • 3

    tmarie

    'm not so sure. In my experience, younger men want their wives to stay home as much as old men do.

    Then we clearly have very different experiences because nearly all of the young men I know whom I've talked about this with are hoping their wives continue working/future wives work because they fear they can'T support a family on their income.

    Of course there is juggling of kids. There is that regardless of who works and who doesn't due to everything folks here seem to think their kids need to do to do well here. SAHM juggle the kids around between kindy, piano, eikaiwa, juku...

  • 0

    tmarie

    Guess you missed my comment about doing a poll to find out eh?

  • 0

    bruinfan

    tmarie,

    You are right. Some of the women in Japan are witches with a "b" in that they needlessly make the lives of other women unbearable. There are men like this too, but that is another discussion.

  • 5

    Nessie

    There was an article on here about a year ago that stated that only about 20% are looking after older family members.

    "Only" 20%?

  • 0

    greatyuito

    Shakai hoken was made to support nonworking mothers who needed to take their allergic, sick children to the doctor's office, attend community meetings, plan annual local events, take their children to cram school, do their part of PTA throughout the school year. They form the social network that makes communities safe for growing children and aging seniors. And all of this is unpaid work. The simple lunches and teas help fortify the binds. It worked during the Showa Era, but obviously shakai hoken needs to be overhauled to see to the needs of smaller families.

  • 1

    Quentin Barry Jeffers

    Japan can double its working population with Japanese people and WON'T. This, while discouraging immigration and facing an aging, long lived population. With the birthrate plunging because women are no longer buying the Japanese marriage model, the economy can only degenerate. Sayonara.

  • 0

    tmarie

    "Only" 20%?

    yes. Which was way lower than the other countries mentioned in the article. If only I could find that article now. And taking care doesn't mean that they are dealing with family that are seriously poorly off. Anything from taking a parent to the doctor's counts as "taking care". For all the "we take care of our family" jazz people spout, it is rather far from the reality of what happens here.

  • 2

    Aly Rustom

    Zero applicants for plan to promote women at work. Put that with Not a full house and what do you get?

    An abismally useless PM who is an utter failure.

    He can't get women into the workplace; the plan fell through on the heels of a speech given by him to the UN where no one was present. What do these two events have in common and what do they show?

    EVERYONE, Japanese and the outside world, are starting to not take this man seriously. They're realizing that he's just full of hot air.

  • 2

    5SpeedRacer5

    I think 300,000 yen would probably pay for most of the necessary paperwork and certifications.

    Mostly.

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