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A recent Cabinet Office survey shows a considerable shift in the views of male-female roles over the past decade. Nowadays, more than 50 percent of Japanese men oppose having women stay at home solely as housewives. Yet, with so many women now working full and part time, it is surprising that nearly 44 percent of men still favor the traditional role.

In 1979, the percentage supporting women’s traditional house-bound role was 72 percent, and only 20 percent disagreed with that. In 1992, the ratio had increased slightly to 30 percent against house-bound wives. If this trend continues, in the next 10 years or so, the numbers reflecting new attitudes are likely to climb even further. Of course, that depends on the economy, which is one of the prime reasons for this change in long-held beliefs.

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