Record 35.4% of new hires for Japan's civil service are women, exceeding government target

Kyodo, JIJI

The central government said Friday that women accounted for a record 35.4 percent of newly hired civil servants in fiscal 2019, in line with its target to keep the ratio above 30 percent for the fifth straight year.

The government hired a total of 8,123 individuals for fiscal 2019, of whom 2,876 were female. The ratio of women rose 1.4 percentage points from a year earlier and surpassed the previous high of 34.5 percent in fiscal 2016, according to the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs.

Of the overall new recruits, 708 were hired as career-track bureaucrats, including 245 women, or 34.6 percent of the total, another record high.

By ministry and agency, the Foreign Ministry had the highest proportion of female recruits, at 50.0 percent, followed by the farm ministry at 43.4 percent and the health ministry at 42.5 percent.

However, the proportion of female recruits at the land ministry and the National Public Safety Commission was 25.7 percent and 27.0 percent, respectively, falling short of the national goal of 30 percent.

“We’d like to provide a working environment friendly to women and continue our efforts to increase female recruits,” said Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, minister in charge of civil service reform.

Ministries and agencies have been taking measures to promote female employment, such as offering seminars for job-hunting women, officials of the bureau said.