The ruling Liberal Democratic Party submitted an amendment to the Diet in January to expand the "widow's deduction" to cover single parents who have never been married. This system allows single parents who have lost spouses to death or divorce to deduct a certain amount of money from their taxable income in order to reduce their tax burden. At present, single parents who have never been married do not qualify for the deduction.
The expansion will likely go into effect this spring, despite the objections of certain LDP members who think the revision undermines the so-called traditional family. The party member who has most championed the bill is former Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, a development the media has found surprising since Inada is commonly viewed as one of the LDP's "hawks," meaning a stubborn politician who frequently sticks to the conservative line, especially when it comes to family matters.
Consequently, Inada has been talking to the press a lot and focusing more awareness on a subject that wouldn't have drawn attention otherwise and, in almost every story, the writer expresses amazement that Inada would be advocating for never-married single parents. In her interview with Inada for the business magazine Diamond Online in December, Yoshiko Miwa finds it "astonishing" that the Lower House lawmaker is the main force pushing the LDP toward expansion. Inada even points out that there are more never-been-married single parents in Japan than there are widowed single parents.