Of all the myths surrounding Shinzo Abe's revival scheme, my personal favorite is that he's a fearless champion of Japanese women.

Figments of investors' imagination surround Abenomics, including the canard about the prime minister unleashing a shareholder activism renaissance (Toshiba, Takata, Mitsubishi, anyone?). Another holds he's bringing the powerful farm lobby to heel (now about those 778 percent rice tariffs Abe wouldn't touch with a 3-meter arrow). Or that Abe is a fiscal conservative as Japan's debt-to-gross-domestic-product ratio rises apace.

The real whopper is that women are suddenly thriving in a system that's long preferred them to serve tea and act cute. Abe artfully takes credit for a rise in female labor participation that predated the December 2012 start date of his premiership, a trend borne out of demographic necessity, not enlightened leadership. And he rarely misses a chance to say he favors "a society in which all women shine."