One of the key elements of the Abe administration's efforts to stimulate the economy is getting more women into the workforce. As it stands, Japan has one of the highest rates of working women in the developed world, so the problem is not so much jobs but rather the quality of the jobs women get and how much money they make.

According to the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry, 56 percent of all women who worked in Japan in 2018 had nonregular jobs, meaning part-time, temp or contract work that usually lacks benefits. The corresponding rate for men was 22 percent.

In order for more women to secure the kind of work that would further stimulate the economy, certain cultural norms will have to be discarded, the most obvious one being the notion that homemaking is the responsibility of women.