Waka Konohana
Japan’s custody system may soon change with the introduction of joint custody, though issues like a lack of protection against domestic violence and abuse must also be tackled.
May 10, 2024
Joint custody alone won’t fix Japan’s flawed system
Japan could be on the verge of adopting joint custody. While to some this is a step in the right direction, it may not be enough to protect families.
Yulia Naumenko is one of many Ukrainians living in Japan as the war in their home country stretches into its third year.
Mar 11, 2024
In war’s third year, Ukrainians in Japan still face daily trials
Two years of conflict has left Ukraine scarred and evacuees living in Japan with just as many struggles as when they arrived.
Beyond factors such as the "motherhood penalty," Japanese women struggle to advance in their careers due to the structure of the workforce, including the two-tiered clerical versus managerial track.
Mar 6, 2024
Why is it taking so long to break the glass ceiling?
Japan isn't unique in having a thick glass ceiling, but some factors don't apply to other countries, like the U.S., where many more managers are women.
Japan is the only country with a law requiring married couples to adopt the same surname. In 95% of cases, it is women who take their husband's name.
Feb 7, 2024
The land where single surnames are the only option
The business lobby recently joined calls for Japan to accept separate surnames after marriage. What, then, is standing in the way of change? Politics.
As Japan's productivity declines due to the shrinking working-age population, policies that allow for everyone’s full participation in the labor force, especially women, are needed more than ever.
Dec 29, 2023
A look back at Japan’s gender laws and fairness in 2023
Gender equality needs to improve to boost Japan’s prospects. What hits and missed opportunities will we remember from 2023?
University students attend a job fair. If Japanese companies continue hiring people based on the university they graduated from, acquiring extra qualifications or reskilling won't impact candidates' job prospects.
Nov 29, 2023
Kishida’s stimulus package needs rethinking, not reskilling
The government aims to promote reskilling for nonregular workers to boost their job prospects, but this won't matter if hiring practices don't change.
A gender-equality supporter protests against discrimination at an event held in Tokyo for International Women's Day in March 2021
Oct 13, 2023
Japan’s gender gap has never been wider. Can Kishida close it?
The government emphasizes the need to improve gender equality, but correcting Japan's dismal record requires a nuanced approach.


Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals