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Pay Gap for Working Women Keeps Wages Down for Everyone in Japan

  • Prime Minister Kishida’s New Capitalism aims to lift pay
  • Labor talks expected to yield only modest pay increases
Sakiko Takasawa
Sakiko TakasawaPhotographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

In recent years, Japan has championed its growing number of working women as an answer to the country’s shrinking population and lackluster economy. But rather than feeling empowered, many are harboring a growing sense of inequity.

“I don’t think we’re being paid fairly,” said Sakiko Takasawa. As a care worker for the elderly, she’s part of a predominantly female industry paid far less than the national average. “There’s still such deep-rooted gender inequality,” added the 35-year-old, who was drawn to the profession during university as she watched her grandmother struggle with dementia.