Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday told an audience of female business executives, both Japanese and foreign, that he is committed to increasing the number of women in the workforce to help boost Japan's ailing economy.

During the one-day 2014 Women in Business Summit, which drew hundreds of attendees, Abe pledged to empower women with the aim of creating a society where "all women can shine" — a favored phrase of Abe's that he has repeated in his recent speeches.

Last year, Japan ranked 105th among 136 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report issued by the World Economic Forum.