A recent poll has found that 40 percent of both men and women in their 20s to 40s believe husbands should work full time while their wives stay at home. The poll, taken by Meiji Yasuda Institute of Life and Wellness, is a startling challenge to the push by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to increase the number of women in the Japanese workplace.

What's more, 65 percent of male and 71 percent of female respondents said women should concentrate on parenting while their children are very young.

This traditional view of gender roles is becoming increasingly outdated despite its persistence. The poll did not make clear whether the respondents were thinking of the current situation, where parents have trouble finding affordable and convenient child care, or whether they were thinking of some improved situation in the ideal future.