Ayaka Shiomura's tears show why Shinzo Abe's talk of empowering Japan's women is still more hot air than policy.

The Tokyo assemblywoman two days ago urged colleagues to budget assistance for women struggling to balance work and child rearing, and to offer funding for fertility treatments — sage advice one would think in a fast-aging nation where pets now outnumber children. The response from male members of Abe's own Liberal Democratic Party? Sexist jeers. "You're the one who needs to get married," shouted one member, reports said. "Can't you even bear a child," yelled another.

Truth is, Abe's embrace of the "Womenomics" concept championed by Goldman Sachs economist Kathy Matsui is window dressing, not reality. His proposals to increase access to day care, extend maternity leave to three years and encourage companies to name female board members lacks imagination and teeth. It's more a best-practices guide for CEOs than a workable plan to harness Japan's most-untapped resource.