Sep 25

Past Event

From Abenomics to Womenomics: Working Women and Japan’s Economic Revival

Video

Audio

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Summary

Can women rescue the Japanese economy? Yes, according to the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, marking the first time that a Japanese government has made the promotion of working women a signature feature of the country’s growth strategy. Japan’s inability so far to generate a system that allows women to achieve a work-life balance has had dire economic and demographic consequences. Japanese women quit their careers after having children at a higher rate than in other advanced economies, resulting in a shallower talent pool. Some analysts estimate that if Japan’s female labor participation were on par with other G7 nations, its GDP per capita would increase by five percent. Conversely, many women who stay on the professional track forgo motherhood altogether, contributing to one of the world’s lowest fertility rates.

On September 25, the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) hosted a public seminar examining the role of “womenomics,” a term coined by analyst Kathy Matsui, in Prime Minister Abe’s “Abenomics.” The seminar featured public officials and experts from Japan and the United States, as well as female leaders from various fields in Japan such as business, media, politics, and education. Speakers examined the opportunities and challenges for the Abe government to meaningfully improve the role of women in the workforce, obstacles to female professional development, prospects for implementing proposed reforms, and future steps to promote professional women as female role models.

Vice Minister Atsuko Muraki and Brookings Senior Fellow Mireya Solís, September 25, 2013 (photo credit: Paul Morigi)

Vice Minister Atsuko Muraki and Brookings Senior Fellow Mireya Solís

Vice Minister Atsuko Muraki speaks at Brookings, September 25, 2013 (photo credit: Paul Morigi) 

Vice Minister Atsuko Muraki speaks at Brookings

Photo credit: Paul Morigi

Panel: Frances Rosenbluth, Chad Steinberg, Riwa Sakamoto and Mireya Solís (l-r)

Roundtable of Japanese Female Leaders at Brookings, September 25, 2013 (photo credit: Paul Morigi)

Roundtable: Junko Chano, Yoriko Kawaguchi, Mireya Solís, Aiko Doden, and Yukako Uchinaga (l-r)


Brookings Senior Fellow Mireya Solís and NHK's Aiko Doden, September 25, 2013 (photo credit: Paul Morigi)

Mireya Solís and Aiko Doden

Event Agenda

  • Introduction

  • Keynote Address

    • Atsuko Muraki

      Vice Minister

      Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, Japan

  • Expert Panel

    • Moderator

      Portrait: Mireya Solis

      Mireya Solís

      Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies

      Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies

    • Frances Rosenbluth

      Damon Wells Professor of Political Science

      Yale University

    • Riwa Sakamoto

      Director, Economic and Social Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

      Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan

    • Chad Steinberg

      Senior Economist

      International Monetary Fund

  • Roundtable of Japanese Female Leaders

    • Moderator

      Portrait: Mireya Solis

      Mireya Solís

      Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Center for East Asia Policy Studies

      Philip Knight Chair in Japan Studies

    • Junko Chano

      Executive Director (Program), Sasakawa Peace Foundation

      President, Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA

    • Aiko Doden

      Senior Commentator

      NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)

    • Yoriko Kawaguchi

      Visiting Professor, Meiji University

      former Member of the House of Councillors, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, former Minister of the Environment, Japan

    • Yukako Uchinaga

      Board Chair

      Japan Women’s Innovative Network (J-Win)

Details

September 25, 2013

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW

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