Prime Minister Shinzo Abe renewed his commitment to empower women and improve gender parity around the globe at the Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit 2019 in Tokyo on Wednesday, ahead of the Group of 20 summit due to start Friday in Osaka.

Speaking to female politicians gathered for the two-day summit via a prerecorded video, Abe said that "societal change is possible if there is a clear vision coupled with concrete action." He added that he will ask G20 leaders to commit to providing an additional 4 million young women with at least 12 years of high-quality education by 2020, and reducing the workforce participation gap between men and women by 25 percent by 2025.

The WPL started its annual two-day summit — the first to be held in Asia — on Wednesday. Nearly 400 participants, mostly including female political leaders, from 87 countries have gathered to discuss this year's theme — taking action to advance society toward the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals.