The United States is seeking to step up cooperation with Japan to encourage women to pursue science and technology, a State Department official leading gender equality efforts said Wednesday, noting that female economic empowerment will be on the agenda when the two countries' leaders meet next week.

Katrina Fotovat, acting ambassador-at-large for global women's issues, also underscored the need for Japan, which holds the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven this year, to address its own gender inequalities. Japan ranked last among the G7 industrialized nations in a 2022 gender gap report by a Switzerland-based think tank.

She made the remarks as the U.S. government released what it calls its first-ever interagency strategy to advance women's economic security globally, outlining the areas it will focus on.