"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Global Leaders Meeting on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

[Date] September 27, 2015
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

Since I became Prime Minister of Japan, the fundamental pillar of my policy has been the realization of a society where women shine. As a result, in the past 3 years, more than 90 thousands women have entered the Japanese labor market.

We have set a goal that about 30% of leadership positions in the Japanese society be occupied by women by 2020. The Japanese government has taken the initiative and already the percentage of women among newly-hired national public servants in Japan has exceeded 30%.

Just one month ago, Japan hosted The World Assembly for Women: "WAW! 2015" in Tokyo.

This year, approximately 150 leaders, academics, and experts in various fields from about 40 countries and 8 international organizations participated, including Her Excellency Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. We discussed a variety of issues related to gender equality in a comprehensive manner, and suggestions for action were compiled in the "WAW! 2015 To Do" outcome document.

20 years ago, we declared a commitment to addressing 12 critical areas of concern in the Beijing Platform for Action. While we have achieved a certain degree of success so far, we must continue to make progress.

In fact, last month Japan enacted a new law to promote the active engagement of women in society.

With this, Japan aims to create a society where it is commonplace for both men and women to share responsibility for work, household chores, and child rearing. We will to address the challenges associated with an aging society and low birthrate before the rest of the world while still realizing economic growth.

Additionally, while further strengthening our cooperation with the international community, including UN Women, Japan is resolved to lead the world in making the 21st century a world with no human rights violations against women.

As part of these efforts, Japan`s donation to UN Women has increased 10-fold in the past 2 years in Japanese yen base. Moreover, a new UN Women Liaison Office was recently opened in Japan. Japan spares no effort in cooperating with the international community including UN Women.

We also finalized Japan`s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security. From here onward, we will promote initiatives in line with this action plan.

It is also important to secure high quality education for women and girls so that they can become financially independent and freely determine how they want to live their own lives. Japan has pledged to contribute more than 42 billion yen in ODA directed toward this field, and the next three years.

Japan will continue implement further actions and initiatives toward resolving challenges for gender equality, development, and peace through the protection of women's rights, the promotion of women's participation and empowerment.

Next year, Japan will serve as the host country for the G7 Summit. As Summit Chair, Japan will continue to vigorously promote agenda related to women.

For 2030, let us create a world where gender equality and women's participation become standard and both women and men shine naturally and equally.