National

Government won't require firms set numerical targets for women in top positions

Kyodo

The government will not require domestic companies to set numerical targets for female executives as part of its policy to enhance the role of women in the economy, sources said Saturday.

With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeking to raise the proportion of women in leadership positions in both the public and private sectors to at least 30 percent by 2020, his government plans to submit a bill to the Diet during the extraordinary session opening Monday.

The plan to avoid numerical benchmarks reflects concern in business circles about the difficulties of implementing such targets, the government sources said.

Although forgoing numerical targets, the legislation would require larger companies to formulate plans for the empowerment of women, with more specific content to be left at the discretion of the companies, the sources said.

Smaller firms will only be asked to make efforts at giving women more opportunities, they said.

Using the catchphrase “a nation where all women can shine,” Abe’s administration has made female empowerment a pillar in his growth strategy, the “third arrow” of his deflation-busting “Abenomics” package. The first two phases were fiscal spending and radical monetary easing.

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