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Opinion
William Pesek

In Japan, Men Need to Lean In Further

In such a top-down political and business culture, it's up to Abe both to have a national dialogue about the costs of sexism and to raise the level of discourse in Tokyo --starting with his own party.
Japanese women could bolster the economy greatly, but not until attitudes change.
Japanese women could bolster the economy greatly, but not until attitudes change.

Ayaka Shiomura's tears show why Shinzo Abe's talk of empowering Japan's women is still more hot air than policy.

The Tokyo assemblywoman two days ago urged colleagues to budget assistance for women struggling to balance work and childrearing, and to offer funding for fertility treatments -- sage advice one would think in a fast-aging nation where pets now outnumber children. The response from male members of Abe's own Liberal Democratic Party? Sexist jeers. “You're the one who needs to get married,” shouted one member, the Asahi newspaper reports. “Can’t you even bear a child,” yelled another.