Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made women’s empowerment a pillar of his economic policy as the workforce shrinks and the nation grays, but his decisive election victory Sunday failed to bring more women into the Diet.
Forty-seven women had been elected to the 465-seat Lower House as of 9:00 a.m. Monday, up slightly from 45 in the 2014 election. Five seats are pending.
In Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, women made up only 8 percent of the candidates versus more than 20 percent in some of the opposition parties.
Abe is preparing to host Japan’s annual World Assembly for Women next month, with U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka reported to be the guest of honor. Japan ranked 165th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representation ahead of the vote, with just 9 percent, lower than Pakistan or Syria.