"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 KISHIDA Fumio at UN Women's HeForShe Summit

[Date] September 21, 2022
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I am KISHIDA Fumio.

It is my great pleasure to be here today with all of you; Dr. Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, the host of today's summit, all Champions in attendance, and HeForShe supporters. I am also honored to be appointed as the HeForShe Champion from Japan, following the path already traced by the late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the first Champion from our country.

Japan's commitment to achieving gender equality will not change. Today, I would like to introduce to you some concrete initiatives I have been spearheading as a new Champion.

First, I would like to touch upon my vision of a "new form of capitalism with a view to reviving the Japanese economy and opening up our future. This is an approach we have introduced under my initiative that is based on "growth and distribution" with "women's economic independence" as its core. We believe this approach is key to addressing the structural problems that women are facing in Japan, such as the wage gap between men and women, and enabling all women to choose their own paths in life.

Furthermore, Japan has been strengthening its efforts toward realizing gender equality and promoting women's empowerment both in the public and private sectors. Today's appointment of Mr. IDEKOBA Hisayuki, CEO of Recruit Holdings, as a Champion together with myself is proof of such efforts.

To change Japan and the world, we need to raise awareness of gender equality throughout our entire society and that means including among us men. Japan has been supporting developing countries in line with the HeForShe concept to create a society where men, women, and all people can enjoy a life of opportunity. We will further strengthen our partnership with UN Women and will contribute to creating a society in which "No One is Left Behind."

In Ukraine and around the world, women and girls are facing grave human rights violation of sexual violence in conflict. The Government of Japan has been contributing to the Global Fund for Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, to which we have recently contributed an additional two million euros. Japan will continue to support traumatized women and girls with a view to helping them regain their dignity and be able to live their lives on their own terms again.

In order to accelerate efforts to achieve these initiatives, on December 3 this year, we will host the "World Assembly for Women (WAW!)" in Tokyo. My Special Advisor on Women's Empowerment, Ms. MORI Masako, who is also with us here today, is leading the preparatory work. The theme of WAW! 2022 is "WAW! for Mainstreaming Gender into a New Form of Capitalism." We look forward to lively discussions with people worldwide toward creating a new society and economy that respect diversity and women. I look forward to your participation in this year's WAW!

In 2023, Japan will assume the G7 Presidency. We will also become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. As a responsible member of the international community, we will continue to listen to various voices of the international community and will make strong contributions toward realizing gender equality.

Thank you very much for your attention.