• Bellambi, Australia

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Regarding the July 2 editorial “Gender-free spirit lagging“: The law enacted in 1999 was not called the Basic Law for a Gender-free Society, but rather the Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society. The government specifically rejected the idea of “gender free” because it was said to be “excessive” and derived from communism.

While the government may “hope” that women occupy 30 percent of all leadership positions in society (by 2020), there are very few concrete measures to ensure that this will happen. On a national level, incredibly, there are no measures to ensure that the number of women in the Diet will increase.

As for political parties, which have the power to increase female representation, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan provides financial support for first-time female candidates; the ruling Liberal Democratic Party does nothing. Only 8.5 percent of LDP Lower House members are women. The figure for the DPJ is not much better at 8.9 percent.

With NO measures in place at the national level to rectify this imbalance, I don’t think “hope” is going to be of much use in this case. Concrete measures like gender quotas established by law or individual political parties are urgent necessities.

emma dalton

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