Deep changes urged in Japan’s male-centered work culture

by

Staff Writer

A government advisory panel on gender equality called on the nation Tuesday to change the male-oriented work culture based on the outdated family model in which men work long hours while women take care of the home.

In an 82-page report submitted to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the panel said Japan’s notoriously long working hours and frequent job relocations that took root during the postwar boom need to be fundamentally reviewed.

The outdated corporate culture has made it difficult for women to fully execute their abilities, or for men to participate in homemaking and child rearing, the report says.

Recommended measures include placing caps on overtime hours and creating a work environment to encourage employees to take all their paid holidays. The report calls on the government to consider setting numerical targets with deadlines to reduce overtime.

Based on the proposals, the government will draw up by the end of this year its fourth basic plan to achieve gender equality with numerical targets. The basic plan is reviewed every five years, and the next raft of changes will take effect in April.

The report urges the government to accelerate measures to achieve its target of increasing women in managerial positions to 30 percent by 2020.

It calls on companies and government offices to increase their efforts to place more female candidates in executive positions.

Regarding the Civil Code dating back to the Meiji Era (1868-1912), which bans women from remarrying for six months after they divorce, forces married couples to choose a single surname and sets different legal marriage ages for women and men, the report says the system should be reviewed based on “judicial decisions,” apparently referring to an upcoming Supreme Court decision on the matter.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to rule Dec. 16 on two cases questioning the constitutionality of Civil Code articles that prohibit only women from remarrying for six months and forces married couples to choose a single surname. It will be the first time for the top court to rule on the issue.

The century-old Civil Code provisions on families have been criticized as out of date and discriminatory against women.

The report calls for beefing up measures to eradicate sexual harassment as well as maternity harassment — a term used for discrimination in workplace against women who are pregnant, on child-care leave or who have returned to work after giving birth.

It recommends measures such as disclosing company names or imposing penalties when corporations fail to prevent maternity harassment.

According to labor ministry data, women accounted for 43 percent of all employees in 2013. The percentage of females in management positions, however, stood at around 10 percent, while more than 50 percent of working women were nonregular employees.

The government is also falling short when it comes to women in leading positions.

Taro Kono, minister in charge of the public servant system, revealed Tuesday that as of July 1, the ratio of women in managerial position at ministries and government offices marked a record high 3.5 percent, or 330 people, up 0.2 point from September last year.

However, the government failed to meet its goal of 5 percent by the end of this year.

  • Hans Gruber

    Unpaid overtime and even paid overtime wasn’t that big a deal when only dad worked late at the office, but the same expectations are now put on working mothers. You can’t raise a family if both parents are working late at the office! This is a big reason fewer people are having children.

    Disclosing company names or imposing penalties on corporations won’t make any difference. There’s already a ban on unpaid overtime but everyone does it anyway. Companies brush of fines as business expenses.

    No. If the government wants the culture to change, they have to show they absolutely mean it.

    • R0ninX3ph

      Let’s be honest, it is really only the huge corporations that get looked at when it comes to the regulations, the majority of businesses in Japan are small businesses which are all but ignored when it comes to things like not paying overtime.

      They need to actually enforce the laws they currently have, but also make fines for breaking the law incredibly high. You need to force the companies to pay their workers, by making it not worth their time with insane fines.

      • blondein_tokyo

        The problem is, small companies don’t have the money to pay big fines. Even if a worker sues them and wins, the worker will never collect and the fine won’t be paid. The owner will just declare bankruptcy, and then re-open the same company under a new name and keep on using the same dirty tricks. It happens all the time.
        Look at NOVA, even – half the students and teachers who sued to get their money back never collected, but the company is still around with almost all of the same top management, minus the CEO.
        It’s very unlikely suits like that will ever be settled…not when you can just declare bankruptcy.
        I’m not sure there is a good way to get around it, either. The culture itself just has to change, and the only people who can do that is the younger generation. Those growing up now will hopefully have a different mindset.
        One thing is for sure, though. Japan is going to be VERY different in 50 years.

      • tisho

        If people are not satisfied with NOVA but keep using it, then it means they prefer NOVA over the alternatives. The question is why is there so few alternatives? Because it is difficult to provide that service when you have to comply with the thousands of regulations imposed by the government, few people can afford to do that. So here is yet another example of how government regulations and intervention into the market makes it difficult for people to start businesses and thus eliminating the competition, and when you have little competition you have terrible service. if it was easy for anyone to start their own ELT etc. business, then nobody would choose NOVA and therefore NOVA would be out of business unless they improve their services. Same thing applies to every industry.

    • R0ninX3ph

      Let’s be honest, it is really only the huge corporations that get looked at when it comes to the regulations, the majority of businesses in Japan are small businesses which are all but ignored when it comes to things like not paying overtime.

      They need to actually enforce the laws they currently have, but also make fines for breaking the law incredibly high. You need to force the companies to pay their workers, by making it not worth their time with insane fines.

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    ‘Government advisory panel’. Is this the same government led by a man whose wife owns a bar/restaurant, but isn’t allowed to run it because his mother says she can’t?
    Yeah, good luck with that ‘male-centered work culture’ thing.

  • Hendrix

    It all sounds very nice and progressive but it won’t happen because chauvinism and sexism are far too entrenched in Japanese culture, first the government needs to look at culture and how that can be reformed , that will take many generations… don’t hold your breath.

    • kyushuphil

      Nothing changes till the schools change.
      And the schools mire deeply in their habits of deference to group activity.
      This group activity justifies the scorn all teachers have for individuals. Thus, too, the scorn for anyone ever questioning anything.
      In order to prove the crushing of individuals, teachers themselves agree to onerous loads of overtime — as if personal lives matter zilch for all true believers. To compound that, as Minae Mizumura has observed, Japanese schools are progressively killing off contact with the humanities.
      They have to do this, because Japan’s great cultural figures all looked closely, scrupulously well at individuals caught in their wider circumstances. So now textbooks give infantilized snippets only from Japanese lit — the goal being to minimize everything to dehumanized info all out of context.
      Minae Mizumura, Natsuo Kirino, Miyuki Miyabe — so many fine women writers in Japan now. But from the idiot cramming for meaningless tests to the repeat and repeat group activities and regimentation (hello cutie AKB-48), you’d never know any individuals existed anywhere.

      • tisho

        Educational system and labor policies, both need to change, both are equally important. Free market is what will allow the informed ones to influence and change the others.

      • Toolonggone

        Hope your term “free market” is not the one you see in the US, UK, Canada, and South America. Feeding corporations without decent regulation and check-and-balance is the worst form of democracy any country would like to follow. It’s the other side of the extreme.

      • tisho

        No, that’s crony capitalism. Free market capitalism is when you have no government intervention into the economy. Ex; hong kong and US until around the 60s .

      • Toolonggone

        Actually, there’s still government involvement in the market, yet the government does so in the way to deregulate the system to make concession for private firms and corporations so that they have more power to control workers to the detriment of their job security and benefits. That’s the beginning of its history. Ayn Rand, Milton Freeman, and Ronald Reagan. You name it.

      • tisho

        huh? I’ve no idea what you just said. Free market means no government involvement in the economy. If there is any involvement it means the market is not free. The very definition of a government intervening to deregulate something, means that there is something being regulated, you can’t deregulate something that is not regulated, and therefore you don’t have a free market. The fact that you have concession means that you have government or state owned or funded institutions, which is again a lack of free market. The rest of your comment shows your ignorance of how an economy works.

      • Toolonggone

        Deregulation, no accountability, cutting taxes, privatizing pensions and benefits. Who exactly did these in the first place? Did all of these come out without government involvement? It’s not corporations who set up all of these by themselves. If you think “free market” is exactly what you define, and exactly how it works in the world, sorry, you are the one showing” ignorance of how an economy works in the first place.”

      • Toolonggone

        Actually, there’s still government involvement in the market, yet the government does so in the way to deregulate the system to make concession for private firms and corporations so that they have more power to control workers to the detriment of their job security and benefits. That’s the beginning of its history. Ayn Rand, Milton Freeman, and Ronald Reagan. You name it.

      • tisho

        Educational system and labor policies, both need to change, both are equally important. Free market is what will allow the informed ones to influence and change the others.

  • GBR48

    This needs legislation with substantial fines and public shaming for non-compliance. Even this will only speed up what will be a generational process, as prejudices such as these are deeply entrenched.

    My grandmother (who is in her 90s) firmly believes that women should not be in positions of power and authority over men and will neither watch a TV series nor read a book if the dominant character is female.

  • skillet

    This 30 percent target is unfair to men as women make different lifestyle choices. Men are more often willing to work until late at night whereas women choose quality of life. As a result, you will end up with a caste system. Men will still be working until midnight competing for the slots allocated to men. Whereas the women will leave the office at 5:00 and head for the spa. They will still get their promotions if the government requires equal numbers of management positions for women.

    This is already happening in Western countries. My Japanese brother-in-law used to work until 2:00 in the morning back in the days of the Bank of Tokyo. He then woke up and left the house out five. He should get a special t-shirt saying, “I survived karoshi !”.

    He deserved every promotion he got and ever dime he made. I do not think many women would do what he did.

    Whether it is war or work, feminists want to keep the advantages of chivalry. Which necessitates a “disposable male”. But they still want the easy promotions at work.

    • R0ninX3ph

      Yes, all women just finish work and head to the spa. It isn’t at all that they go home and do the housework that their husband expects them to do because they’re a woman…. Nope, they all finish work at 5 and pop off to the spa to do nothing at all.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Actually, what is happening now is husbands working until midnight, and wives coming home to take care of the children, do the shopping, cook, and clean the house. That’s not a “spa” by any definition of the word.

      Actually, what is happening now is husbands working until midnight, and wives coming home to take care of the children, do the shopping, cook, and clean the house. That’s not a “spa” by any definition of the word.

      And if women stay single and work, then that generally means they are into their career – isn’t that the narrative, anyway? Meaning, they work as hard as the men do. Of course, some women do temp work, which doesn’t require overtime. But if that is the case, then they have no money, no job security, and that means no money for a spa.

      I think you might be confused about what exactly it is like for a woman in Japan. If you are single, you don’t have extra money unless you work really, really hard – just like men. And if you are married, you either work hard at the office and then come home to work more at home, or you completely avoid having kids because you don’t want to work hard at the office and then come home to work some more.

      The spa thing is for the weekend when the workweek is over, when you FINALLY get MAYBE an hour to yourself. That is, only if you can afford it, AND your husband is nice enough to watch the kids for you.

      “Women make different lifestyle choices……”

      But they don’t currently HAVE a choice. It’s a DUTY to stay home with their children. That is the entire point of the article. Did you not catch that?
      “chivalry”

      Feminists don’t believe in chivalry. We’re the ones always saying women should/can make their own way, and asking for things like equal pay, equal opportunity, and for men to share equal part of childcare. You’re thinking of women who aren’t feminists, and MRAs. They are the ones who are always complaining about how women won’t let men open doors for them anymore, or complain how women “act like men”, e.g., want a career. They get right het up about it, in fact. They don’t want women to work, and at the same time, they don’t want to have to support a wife who doesn’t work. A bit of a conundrum, for them, isn’t it.

      • R0ninX3ph

        In Skillets world, Feminists are just women who want all the bonuses without any negatives, blissfully unaware that men can also be feminists.

      • skillet

        You need to listen to Milo Yianopolis. He is smart and has great hair. Lots on youtube.

      • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

        ‘He, he, he’?
        No women with pinions on feminism in your bubble then?

      • skillet

        I remember teaching my morning “ladies classes” when I worked at the YMCA Englsih school in the early 90’s. I was a very popular teacher for one reason.

        My lessons were ok. But I used to start class serving tea and cookies to all the housewives. My first question when they walked in the room was “tea or coffee”. They loved having tall blond gaijin in a nice suit treating them well. I enjoyed them a lot too. Happiest teaching experience ever !

        I understood right away that these were some of the most pampered ladies on the planet. As they sipped their tea, I gave them thee opportunity to vent about their husbands who were slaving away at work and their kids getting free baby-sitting by the public schools.

        The day was theirs for shopping and hen parties.

        Yes, I took their side and even egged them on as they were paying the bills. Plus it was fun. But that is where I learned my cynicism toward feminism. I would read all these USA feminist articles about the hard life of Japanese women. And how they were ill treated by their men.

        That simply was not what I saw.

      • blondein_tokyo

        You learned all you need to know about feminism from a group of Japanese housewives back in the early 90’s who didn’t even identify as feminists.

        Do you have any inkling whatsoever at how ludicrous that is?

        My guess is no.

        Ah well, I tried.

      • Hendrix

        So you played the role of gaijin monkey and sold your soul to a bunch of old hags and then you formed some strange opinions about feminism.. wow.. what planet are you from?

      • Steve Jackman

        Umm, Planet Japan?

      • Tabula Rasa

        “They loved having tall blond gaijin in a nice suit treating them well. I enjoyed them a lot too.”

        Along with what others have said, I’d add “creepy.”

      • Steve Jackman

        It is unfortunately true that Japan attracts a lot of creepy foreigners. As I commented on the story about immigration a couple of days ago, countries attract the immigrants they deserve. I’m not surprised that someone with skillet’s views is this attracted to Japan and felt so at home here.

      • blondein_tokyo

        His attitude is a lot like the Japanese guys I used to date.

        Note I said “used to”. :)

      • R0ninX3ph

        Housewives fresh out of the bubble likely with husbands still earning bubble era wages…. Yeah.. sure… totally relevant to the current situation in Japan.

      • skillet

        My point is this. Western feminists have nothing to teach Japan. The women are happier when you have men who work and women who are look after the home. That does not mean women should not work. But you increase the ratio of “salaryman” women in the workplace to 40 percnent. Productiivity will drop, families will break up, and the children will be psycho and on ritalin like in the USA.

        Psychiatrists and divorce lawyers will benefit. That’s about it.

        My wife actually worked for 10 years and paid off my morgtgage with her extra salary. Made more than I did for a while. But she worked because she wanted a bigger home than the townhouse we lived in. After we paid it off she quit as she is not stupid.

        Why be a slave to the man when you can be treated well by a nice dude like me. She still freelances, but now she can travel to Japan as she likes. See her aging parents several times a year.

        Right now is a pleasant moment. I just walked in the house with a bottle of wine. To the smell of homemade tempura udon. stuffed myself good with great food. My wife is relaxed and happy because she did not have to slave away at the company all day. I have already fed the chickens, walked the dog, And it is only 6:22 in the evening.

        La vie est belle. But feminism destroys happiness. As do LGBT radicals.

      • Hendrix

        Your comments creep me out man…

      • Steve Jackman

        They creep me out to, but Japan is full of such thinking.

      • R0ninX3ph

        I don’t think productivity could really drop much further than it already sits in Japan.

        Japan, the nation with some of the longest working hours in the world, with some of the lowest productivity from workers.

        But sure, women working is going to be the cause of that…… Not at all people never getting enough rest away from work, thus being salaryman zombies throughout the whole day because they spend 16-20 hours a day at work.

        Skillet, I said it below, you’re a loon.

      • Steve Jackman

        Japan misses you, skillet. Come back!! There are a lot of like-minded people here.

      • skillet

        I miss Japan so much at times I am sick with all the cultural marxists here. And to think we could end up with Bernie Sanders (SOCIALIST !) or Hillary (RAADFEM !) president. I hope that interview of Donald Trump on the Alex Jones show will help him break through so the liberty movement will have its champion. I encourage everyone to google and watch that interview. Cutting edge of political thought.

      • R0ninX3ph

        It is amusing, because if you hate Bernie Sanders so much for being a socialist, that you would want to come back to Japan… With its socialised health care and pension systems….

      • skillet

        I miss Japan so much at times I am sick with all the cultural marxists here. And to think we could end up with Bernie Sanders (SOCIALIST !) or Hillary (RAADFEM !) president. I hope that interview of Donald Trump on the Alex Jones show will help him break through so the liberty movement will have its champion. I encourage everyone to google and watch that interview. Cutting edge of political thought.

      • blondein_tokyo

        If feminism destroys happiness, why are I and my feminist partner so happy?

        Oh, and we’re both bisexual, and believe in equal rights for all LGBT.

        Double whammy, yet…very happy. Hmmm.

        I guess it doesn’t compute in that tiny brain of yours that women actually have something called “work ethic” and “ambition” that makes them *want* to work, equally, on par with men.

        I can’t figure out why people like you exist. In spite of tons of evidence, much of it common sense, you continue to deny it in favor of your own, limited, personal point of view. Kind of like a person from South America denying the existence of North America because they’ve never been there.

      • skillet

        I have always been a strong supporter of equal rights. The problem is the top down social engineering that is required to push “equal rights”. I think true equality comes from grassroots spontaneity. Where equality is more a principle of individual rights than a bean counting strategy to make sure we are the same. Equality and same-ness are not the same thing.

        As I was always for the principle of equality, I was always supportive of my wife’s right to choose to work or not. I was always for LGBT rights to contract civil unions etc. as free individuals have the right to decide inheritance, hospital visitation etc. Freedom in a libertarian sense.

        I am against the constant barrage of officiallly sponsored indoctrination, propaganda, and social engineering for socially engineered ” equality” that interferes with the process of true equality that occurs spontaneously.

        I was against gay marriage. Not because I care what they do. But because it is not marriage. Gay marriage is just “me-too-ism”. It is all about saying that a social arragnement that emerged spontaneously between men and women must be applicable to gays too. Gays have their own relationships with their intrinsic merits and demerits as do heterosexuals. But they do not have the right to usurp something and say it is an institution made for them when it was not.

        I am for equality of men, women, gays, transgeneders as I believe in the right to be left alone. However, I do not believe in the right of individuals to say that my personal lifestyle must have socially engineered recognition.

        I personally believe that many of our personal choices are destructive. As is your choice to have a bi-sexual relationship. Or my choice to smoke a pipe. But I would never want any of these choices to be regulated by the state.

        Women should neither be encouraged nor discouraged from participating in the workpllace, working in stem fields etc.

        I was an early suporter of people like MLK civil rights as early as I could think. And against harassment of gays in the 80’s.

        I was not on their side because I believed they deserved that we socially engineer them a special place in society but rather that we all have the right to be left alone and “pursue life, liberty and happiness”, regardless of how adept or inept we may be.

        My problem with this generation of activists is the following. They are not about the right to be left alone but the insistence that society recognize them and socially engineer them a situation that suits them. .

        This insistence is a sort of anal retentiveness that makes the left the true source of intolerance.

        Women and men should have the right to work and leave their kids in day-care regardless of how destructive or beneficial it may be. Because adults are responsible for being responsible for their own and making the choices independently of a nanny state.

        Just don’t police and use the state to enforce your agenda, lifestyle acceptance etc.

      • blondein_tokyo

        You spent a lot of time to not answer to anything I said.

        Mmmmmkay.

      • skillet

        I answered all of it. You just need to learn to read more carefully.

      • blondein_tokyo

        Your posts are rambling and so incoherent so that the reader can barely follow your point. And you were once an English teacher? I should put that in quotes, “English teacher” , because I’m quite sure that you have had no training and no degree, and like most of the “teachers” here, you aren’t one.

        And no, you really didn’t address anything I said. Your claim was that feminists and LGBT are unhappy, and I provided examples from my own experience that proved you wrong. You didn’t counter that at all. You only continue led insist that my relationship is “destructive”, but offered no evidence for that whatsoever.

        You don’t even understand that what you call “social engineering” is exactly how virtually all social progress has ever been made. It’s what freed the slaves, got women the vote, and yes- forced acceptance of marriage equality. The intolerance you accuse me of is actually intolerance of intolerance and intolerance of bigotry.

        I find your views abhorrent and highly bigoted, but at the same time I am glad to have had this conversation. I now understand your views better, and why you hold them. It’s always useful to better understand the views of those you disagree with, so that you can better fight them.

      • blondein_tokyo

        If feminism destroys happiness, why are I and my feminist partner so happy?

        Oh, and we’re both bisexual, and believe in equal rights for all LGBT.

        Double whammy, yet…very happy. Hmmm.

        I guess it doesn’t compute in that tiny brain of yours that women actually have something called “work ethic” and “ambition” that makes them *want* to work, equally, on par with men.

        I can’t figure out why people like you exist. In spite of tons of evidence, much of it common sense, you continue to deny it in favor of your own, limited, personal point of view. Kind of like a person from South America denying the existence of North America because they’ve never been there.

  • Richard Solomon

    Penalties need to be imposed on companies that do not reduce overtime, allow people to take paid holidays, and harass women for maternity leave. A 5% goal of more women in management in government ministries is ridiculous. If Abe is really serious bailout his so called womenomics, he’d have more than 3 women in his cabinet. How about 6-7 women NOW? He’d also order his ministries to reach much higher percentages inn the next few years: Eg, 10% by the end of 2016, 15% by the end of 2017, 20% by the end of 2018, etc.

    He’d change the tax code so there is less incentive for women to be stay at home housewives and mothers with their children. As more women work, Abe would need to have more daycare programs up and running.

    The time for talk is over. Abe needs to act decisively, even in the face of complaints from his male supporters.

    • skillet

      He would change the tax code so we could have more Ritalin babies. Kids who are ADD and have psychological problems because they barely know their mothers. Babies deserve a mother. And the work mama does at home is far more important than the papers she would have filled out and reports she would have written at the office.

      Mt own wife needed to be able to relax at home as the doctor in Japan wanted her to avoid the chance of a miscarriage. So she quit her first job for a few years (until getting a great one after we moved to the USA). In the liberated USA, she would have been lucky to have a drive-by delivery covered by insurance.

      As it was, she got treated well. 10 days in the Japanese hospital when my son was born. And on top of that, as insurance paid me directly rather than the hospital, i MADE 2000 bucks off my son being born.

  • Dan

    The reason people don’t take paid holidays is not because companies won’t allow them, it’s social pressure. Penalizing companies for not allowing employees to take holidays isn’t going to make the slightest differnence, holidays must be mandatory if they are ever going to break the “I must show everyone I work more than them” culture.

    • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

      I used to work with a guy who refused to do cool biz and wore a long-sleeved shirt, neck tie, and suit jacket in the office everyday at work to ‘show he was a really, really serious worker’. He was possibly mentally ill, but he certainly stank very badly.

  • Pragmatic Autocratic

    Does anyone else here notice a trend occurring lately with the Japabese government? The Japanese government is trying to make Japan look as pristine and flawless as possible to the rest of the world prior to the Olympics. It’s like most things that are done Japan, everything looks nice and pretty on the surface, but it’s what lies beneath that conveys it’s true character. The Japanese propaganda machine is deceitfully attempting to convince the rest of the world that Japan embraces equality, lacks discrimination, is modern and futuristic but in reality, those that reside here know very well, it couldn’t be further from the truth. This country is 3rd world at its best and is way behind the rest of the world in terms of equality, infrastructure, dilapidated buildings, anti-discrimination, and equal distribution of resources and wealth to the public. Prices for food, clothing, electronics, etc. are outrageously overpriced. All while the government and major corporations continually neglect gender inequality issues and numerous other societal problems that need to be addressed. This talk about gender equality is lip service and looks nice on paper.

    • blondein_tokyo

      Yes. I had the exact same thought. A lot of bluster, no substance. None at all.

    • Blair

      3rd world at best?…uh, yeah…sure

    • skillet

      I think the Japanese have created a wonderful society. The xenophobia on this site is appalling. Somebody need cultural awareness sensitivity training.

      I remember when I lived in Japan how people would constantly rail against a host country that treated them so well.

      • Voltron5150

        I appreciate your response. We may differ on opinion, but I guess that’s what makes the world interesting. I will say that not everything is doom and gloom in Japan. There are some positives, but I wouldn’t imply that my comment is xenophobic by any stretch of the means. It’s based on actual life in Japan or from my personal experiences. Everyone has a different Japan experience. Glad to read yours is splendid.

      • Steve Jackman

        If you read skillet’s other comments, it becomes quickly apparent why he fit in so well in Japan. It is foreigners with opinions like his who are always ready to stand up for the country for obvious reasons. As I wrote here in my comment a couple of days ago to the article about immigration, countries attract the immigrants they deserve.

      • Steve Jackman

        If you read skillet’s other comments, it becomes quickly apparent why he fit in so well in Japan. It is foreigners with opinions like his who are always ready to stand up for the country for obvious reasons. As I wrote here in my comment a couple of days ago to the article about immigration, countries attract the immigrants they deserve.

  • Editor_in_Charge

    OmG LOL I think Japan will sort this out, is anyone really worried???

  • disqus_vBekJrf7g5

    Seriously, Japanese governments ‘initiatives’ are the gift that keeps on giving! It’s like having April 1st headlines EVERY DAY!

  • IceKing

    My grandfather used to be a simple company worker before he retired. He never received any university education, he just received training on the job before he started working. His older brother was a miner. No special people, but they both had families. The elder brother had a family of 10 children, the younger one had 3 children. Even if they had so much children, they still had quite a fortune in old age, even though they weren’t well educated people.
    My parents generation instead, two of the three daughters live in a relationship or are married, but dont have their own children. I am an only child.
    My mother even studied to become a teacher, my father works as a train driver.
    Both aren’t poor but not as rich as my grandparents.

    Nowadays most people work all their life but never receive a decent pension. All this stupid debate about female rights is just the perfect cover for the simple fact that most people work very hard but nowadays, even one hard working father isn’t enough for taking care of a family.
    Think about it! In not even 30 years most industrialized countries became that expensive that two people have to work so they can have children! And that is the situation in nowadays Germany.

    This effects especially Japan in various ways:
    Firstly, the education cost exploded more and more over the years. As a matter of fact, having children is becoming more and more an obstacle in Japanese society.

    Secondly, even alone, there are millions of people not even being able to earn enough so they have a decent life when they retire.

    Thirdly, as that is not enough, the social seggregation between well educated people and underperformers (where it is also important that the term “underperformer” changed drastically over the last years, meaning more and more people became “underperformers” even when, a few years ago, those people were just normal) increases a lot.
    Getting a good university degree means everything today, at least there is something like a chance for a good job.
    Being a normal graduate mostly means Freeter jobs, no adequate payment, bad working conditions or being part as one of the second-in-charge-companies that are basically the same as the mother company, except for the fact that the payment is half of the mother company’s workers.

    And that will provide much more social problems than women not being in high positions….

  • Toolonggone

    What Japan needs is strict accountability system on labor practice.

  • Matt Owen

    So hard to believe and accept that this is really happening today in a modern world, in a modern society, in the 21st Century. Staggering and Unbelievable!!

  • skillet

    Creepy is one of those words liberals throw around. THey are afraid of things that go bump in the night. “Creepy, patriarchy, rapey”.

    When you hear words like that, get ready for some weirdo doctrine.

    • Toolonggone

      You’re just showing some of those in your anecdote.

    • R0ninX3ph

      **THIS JUST IN** Creepy is now a word “Liberals” use!!!

      You know… you use Liberal like it is some kind of insult, guess what? Those of us with non-conservative 1950’s thought processes don’t care.

      Maybe if someone called you Liberal, it would shake YOU to the core, but those of us who aren’t stuck in the past wanting women in the kitchen, and not wanting to see two men kiss, it doesn’t actually bother us.