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Women in Japan continue to face a wide range of difficulties in the workplace as well as in other aspects of life, according to a 1997 white paper on gender equality submitted July 1 to the Cabinet.

“Japan (compared with other countries) is still unsuccessful in allowing women opportunities to compete with men on equal terms,” the report says, pointing to the low percentage of women — especially in the public sector — participating in policy- and decision-making processes. The report was compiled by the Office of Gender Equality under the Prime Minister’s Office to examine the present situation and enhance the improvements planned in the Plan for Gender Equality 2000, drafted last December.

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