• Kyodo

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The Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, said Wednesday the number of its member companies that have set up their own action plans for the promotion of female workers has risen to 365, but only a small fraction of those firms have set a target of at least 30 percent.

The total — which represents just over a quarter of Keidanren’s membership — includes 211 firms that have specific numerical targets to increase the proportion of female workers in management positions.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said it would like to see 30 percent of leadership positions in Japan occupied by women by 2020.

However, a bill to oblige large companies to set their own numerical targets for the promotion of women employees was scrapped when Abe dissolved the House of Representatives last month for a snap general election. The bill will likely be submitted again to the ordinary Diet session early next year, providing the Liberal Democratic Party retains control of the Lower House following Sunday’s vote.

So far, only two companies — gaming company Square Enix Holdings Co. and consulting company Globis Corp. — have achieved the 30 percent target, according to a survey by the business lobby.

A meager 19 firms, including furniture company Nitori Holdings Co., cosmetic-maker Shiseido Co. and Resona Bank, have set targets for raising the proportion of female workers in management positions to 30 percent or higher.

The secretariat office of Keidanren also revealed a target of raising the proportion of its female workers in management positions from the current 17 percent to 25 percent within five years.

The nation’s most powerful business lobby said it will continue to urge its 1,300 members to make such targets and update them as necessary.

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