More Japanese men seen becoming house husbands

The Associated Press

More men in Japan are opting to stay at home and let their wives go to work, according to a recent government survey.

The number of men registered as dependents in the national pension plan stood at 80,108 in fiscal 2003 — doubling from about 40,000 seven years ago, the Social Insurance Agency said.

Still, 11 million women were listed as dependents that year, though their numbers fell by 1 million over the same period.

Japan is a modern society, but men and women have long played traditional social roles, and many women in the past chose to stay home rather than pursue careers.

Agency official Akio Yamaki, however, said the survey could indicate a slow reversal of roles.

“The (dependent) category used to be dominated by women, but in recent years the number of women has rapidly decreased because more women are employed now,” Yamaki said, adding more men were choosing to be house husbands.