Kishida waffles about women: Japan 116 out of 146 WEF

Kishida waffles about women: Japan 116 out of 146 WEF

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumiand Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan often promises many things. However, under his administration, people are worse off on average because of the rising cost of living, 64 percent of all coronavirus (Covid-19) deaths under his watch and 93 percent of infections, and now Kishida wants to generate more debt by expanding the military budget. 

Kyodo News reports, “Kishida on Saturday pledged to promote the economic independence of women as a core pillar of his “new form of capitalism” policy, saying Japan will step up efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in cooperation with the international community.”

It begs the question of why Japan needs to do this with the “cooperation” of the international community. After all, it is an internal issue that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) knows all about since this party dominates politics in the post-war period. 

Also, when Kishida did a Cabinet reshuffle this year, he selected 2 females out of 19 to serve at the ministerial level in his Cabinet. This highlights that Kishida is saying his usual “empty words.”

Kishida – a typical family elite within the ruling LDP – doesn’t even know what his “new form of capitalism” is. 

In reality, by the middle of this year, the average person was 1.8% worse off. However, the real figure is higher because many areas are omitted concerning inflation. 

Reuters reports (July)“Inflation-adjusted real wages, a key gauge of consumers’ purchasing power, fell 1.8% from a year earlier, extending a decline to post the biggest year-on-year drop in nearly two years.”

Concerning all workers – male and female alike – countless numbers are abused in Kishida’s “new form of capitalism”society where little changes. 

The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan confirmed that 34 percent of the 32,0125 business companies investigated were involved in illegal overtime abuse. This figure is astonishingly high. However, it is a never-ending problem whereby workers are treated with disdain.

NHK reports, “Inspectors found employees had worked illegal overtime at 10,986 locations. Overtime exceeding 80 hours per month was found at 4,158 locations, and 100 hours per month at 2,643 locations. In one case, 246 hours of illegal work was confirmed.”

Kishida’s initial “distribution strategy” is now the “investment for growth.” Hence, Kishida hopes to encourage the asset-owning class to “doubling of asset incomes” based on capitalists being more dynamic in their new options to increase wealth. It should be stated, cynically, that government money floats around in the internal stock market to a much higher level than other G7 nations – yes, the taxes of all – from rich to poor – are being manipulated by the state apparatus to boost the share-owning class.

The Asahi Shimbun says, “… letting the market call the shots will not advance the actual distribution of the shares of the pie. It will only leave the enlarged pie in the hands of large corporations and wealthy individuals.”

Kishida is following the words of the late Shinzo Abe. He also promised to boost labor opportunities for women. In truth, women’s labor growth is related to shortages in the workforce concerning the low birth rate. 

GENDER INEQUALITY IN JAPAN

In 2019, despite 3 million more female workers in Japan, over half were employed in nonregular jobs. Equally, the reason many women entered the labor force is because of several decades of static wages – while the consumption tax and recent inflation – are making families poorer. Hence, many women in families have entered the workforce because the standard of living continues to fall in Japan.

The minimum wage in Japan is much lower than in other highly developed nations – from Australia to the United Kingdom. While single women naturally have to work to survive and have suffered decades of sexual discrimination – wages to corporate culture. 

In 2021, 22.1 percent of males were nonregular workers compared with the female percentage of 53.4 percent. These workers naturally have few rights in Japan. 

The East Asian Forum reports, “Japanese women’s salaries hardly rise throughout their career. Men and women usually start working in their 20s, where they receive similar average monthly salaries of 214,600 and 209,200 yen (US$1600 and US$1560) respectively. By their late 50s, the average working Japanese man will be earning 420,100 yen (US$3130) per month, while his female counterpart will only be earning 271,100 yen (US $2020), a minor increase from her starting salary.”

Reuters (last year) reports, “The survey found women make up fewer than 10% of managers in 80% of companies in Japan.”

The ruling LDP has mainly led Japan since the post-war period. Hence, from the highest debt ratio of any developed nation, the low-birth rate, females at the bottom of the business ladder, limited political representation – and so forth – it is difficult to believe any member of the ruling LDP within the family political circle that created this imbalance. 

Over two decades of mainly static wages. Thus, even when wages finally grew this year, they couldn’t keep up with inflation. 

This sums up Kishida’s “new capitalism.” Therefore, it likely sums up his words about women because the late Shinzo Abe – and others – have uttered similar comments before concerning women. 

Under the guidance of mainly LDP rule in Japan, the result is that Japan is ranked 116 out of 146.

NHK says, “Japan ranks a woeful 116th out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s latest survey on gender equality.”

Does anyone “really trust” the LDP family ruling elites concerning tackling gender inequality, the debt mountain, pension security, low birth rate, and other important areas?

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