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Japan Labor Boss Finds Widespread Resistance to Female Leaders

  • First female head of labor union group speaks in interview
  • Yoshino expresses doubts over Kishida’s ‘New Capitalism’ plans
Tomoko Yoshino
Tomoko YoshinoPhotographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Attempts to appoint female leaders in Japan meet with resistance from men and women who see them as running counter to traditional values, according to the new head of the country’s biggest federation of labor unions.  

“The perception that roles should be divided by gender remains strong,” said Tomoko Yoshino, the first woman to become president of the 7-million-member Japanese Trade Union Confederation, also known as Rengo. “Even if women are capable, they lack confidence. Men are able to pass as capable, even if they’re not. I sense that disparity very strongly.”