LinkedIn Japan’s first female country head argues that the nation needs to move toward a more skills-based labor market and that firms need to adapt to workers’ changing values if the country is going to improve its persistent gender inequality.

"Japan is at a turning point,” Wakana Tanaka said in her first media interview this week since she took over the top job in late March. "Building your skills constantly is really important in this coming age.”

Amid a backdrop of increasing government spending in this area, Tanaka said Japan’s labor market is already shifting toward focusing on individual skills rather than lifetime employment, and the shift has the potential to be positive for women. LinkedIn is providing various online courses including those partly powered by artificial intelligence to help workers adapt to the changing environment, she said.