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The Japanese government compiled Wednesday a package of policy measures to promote women’s empowerment, including a possible law revision to address cases of unpaid child support payments after divorce.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his administration has been promoting policies under the banner of empowering women since its launch.

“The employment rate for women in Japan has grown most among the Group of Seven major countries,” he also said at a meeting of the government’s headquarters to create a “society in which all women can shine.”

He pledged to provide support to women in difficult situations, showing an eagerness to eliminate poverty in single-parent families.

Meanwhile, a private panel advising Japanese economic and fiscal policy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura compiled Wednesday an interim report calling for creating an environment allowing all new fathers to take paternity leave.

The report also proposed constructing 100 smart cities across Japan to offer efficient and comfortable lives utilizing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Members of the panel have discussed problems facing Japan, such as its falling population and the concentration of people and economic and other activities in Tokyo, asking the minister to draw up action plans for implementing proposals included in the report and to submit necessary legislation to parliament.

Nishimura said that he hopes to reflect the proposals in the government’s basic economic and fiscal policy guidelines.

The report also included proposals for supporting child-rearing by promoting teleworking, which has been adopted by many companies amid the new coronavirus crisis, making paid paternity leave mandatory and raising child care leave benefits.

With many people in their 20s showing interest in migration to rural areas from Tokyo, which has seen a large number of coronavirus infections, the report underlined the need for improving smart cities to enable convenient life in rural regions.

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