More than 80% of major firms saw male employees take child care leave of less than three months over the past year while female employees got longer leave times, a recent Kyodo News survey showed, underscoring the dominant role women continue to play in child-rearing in Japan.

In the survey that covered 113 companies between November and December, around half of them reported in their securities filings that at least 80% of their male employees took paternity leave, regardless of the length.

But on the duration of such leave taken, the largest group of 47% said the average length per child was "one month to less than three months," followed by 25% who said "two weeks to less than one month."