UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: 3rd Periodic Reports of States parties, Japan.




Third periodic report of States parties


1. This is Japan's third periodic report submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention") which Japan ratified in 1985. 2.Japan submitted its initial report (CEDAW/C/5/Add.48) in March 1987, which was considered at the seventh session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 1988.Its second report (CEDAW/C/JPN/2) was submitted in February 1992, and is to be considered at the thirteenth session of the Committee scheduled in 1994. 3.The present report covers developments on the implementation of the Convention in Japan for the period of about two years from the point of drafting the second report (July 1991) up to September 1993, as well as other information not included in the previous reports.The report also provides information on the present situation of Japanese women in Part I. 4.After the submission of the second report to the Secretary-General, the Government of Japan held a meeting of the members of the Advisory Council to the President of the Headquarters for the Planning and Promoting of Policies Relating to Women to be briefed on and listen to their views on the report.It also distributed copies of the Japanese version widely among the concerned members of the Diet, political parties, major women's organizations, journalists, officials of local governments who are responsible for women's affairs and other interested individuals. In drafting the present report, views of the various women's groups and academics in relation to the second report were taken into consideration, and the Advisory Council was consulted on the contents of the present report. The Advisory Council is a private advisory body to the Prime Minister who is the President of the headquarters for the Planning and Promoting of Policies Relating to Women, which is Japan's national machinery to promote comprehensive measures relating to women.The Advisory Council consists of experts on women's affairs, and includes representatives of national women's organizations, academics, journalists, representatives of trade unions and others who represent various groups of women. 5.As a party to the Convention, the Government of Japan is committed to continuing its efforts to eradicate all forms of discrimination against women to achieve real equality between men and women.


1.Population and vital statistics In 1992, Japan had a population of approximately 124.45 million, of which 63.36 million were women and 61.1 million were men. Women outnumbered men by 2.26 million, and accounted for 50.9 per cent of the total population. Japan is moving rapidly towards an aged society, and this trend is most apparent in its women's population.In 1992, women accounted for 59.4 per cent of the population aged 65 and over, and this percentage is projected to remain roughly at the same level. In 1992, the life expectancy at birth was 82.22 years for women and 76.09 years for men.Both women's and men's life expectancies are the longest in the world. The number of live births in 1992 was approximately 1,209,000 with the birth rate of 9.8 (per 1,000 persons).Both the annual number of live births and the crude birth rate are declining.Accordingly, the total fertility rate (the average number of children that would be born to each woman in her lifetime in accordance with the fertility rate of a given period:the sum of the age-specific fertility rates for women aged 15 to 49) dropped to 1.50, lower than the previous year's (1.53) which had been the lowest record in history.The low birth rate is largely the result of the remarkable rise in the proportion of unmarried young women in their twenties. One of the factors that has brought about this increase is said to be that women do not feel the burden of household chores and child-rearing has been alleviated under the present social mechanism while their economic situation is improving and it has become possible for them to choose various lifestyles. In 1992, there were 754,441 marriages with the marriage rate of 6.1 (per 1,000 persons).Both have been on the increase since 1990.The mean age at first marriage was 26.0 years for women and 28.4 years for men, both of which have been on a constant rise. As for divorce, in 1992 there were 179,191 divorces with the divorce rate of 1.45 (per 1,000 persons), and both the number and the rate have been increasing since 1990.In particular, divorces of couples with long marriage duration are increasing. As for household size, the average number of persons per household is decreasing; in 1990, it dropped below 3 to 2.99. Household patterns according to the relations between household members showed that in 1990, 76.7 per cent were family households that consisted of a head of the household and his/her relatives, and 23.1 per cent were one-person households; 26.4 per cent had a household member aged 65 or over, and such households are increasing. The maternal mortality rate in 1991 was 9.0 per 100,000 births (the highest post-war record was 178.8 in 1955).The infant mortality rate in 1992 was 4.0 per 1,000 births for girls and 5.0 for boys (again, the previous record was 72.0 for girls and 81.0 for boys in 1947).Both rates are at a very low level. During the year of 1992, 493 cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positives were newly found (those who were infected through blood products are not included), which is a considerable increase compared to 238 cases in the previous year. Apart from those who were infected through blood products, more women were infected with HIV than men (in 1992, 291 women compared to 202 men).Actual number of AIDS cases and HIV positives is estimated to be 8.7 times higher than the reported number. In 1991, there were approximately 2,948,000 children/persons with disabilities, of which 1,150,000 women and 1,502,000 men were under care at home.The number of the mentally handicapped was approximately 385,000, of which 111,000 women and 158,000 men were under care at home. 2.Education In 1992, girls' high school enrolment rate was 96.2 per cent (93.9 per cent for boys), which has been higher than boys' since 1969.The percentage of girls who advance to universities and junior colleges is also increasing annually; in 1992, the rate was 40.8 per cent for girls and 37.0 per cent for boys, and the girls' rate has been higher than boys' since 1989.As for the university enrolment rate, in 1992, it was 17.3 per cent for girls and 35.2 per cent for boys.Although there is still a gap between boys' and girls' rates, it is narrowing compared to the gap in 1980 (12.3 per cent for girls and 39.3 per cent for boys). Proportions of women by courses of university faculties show that courses where women occupy the majority were home economics (98.3 per cent), arts (66.8 per cent), humanities (66.4 per cent) and education (54.8 per cent).In those courses where women's enrolment rate had been low, there was a considerable rise compared to 1980 in social science (17.4 per cent compared to 8.2 per cent in 1980) and agriculture (26.9 per cent to 11.5 per cent), and a minor increase in science (19.8 per cent to 15.9 per cent) and technology (5.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent). In 1992, there were 8,141 women teaching staff in junior colleges (6,320 in 1980), which accounted for 38.5 per cent of all the teaching staff (38.6 per cent in 1980).Compared to 1980 figures, while there was an increase in number, the percentage remained at the same level.The number of women teaching staff in universities was 12,380 in 1992 (8,630 in 1980), which accounted for 9.6 per cent of university teaching staff (8.4 per cent in 1980).Compared to 1980 figures, both the number and the percentage have increased. In 1992, the employment rate of junior college graduates was 86.8 per cent for women and 70.6 per cent for men while that of university graduates was 80.4 per cent for women and 79.7 per cent for men. In both cases women's rates were higher than men's.Among graduates, except those who go on to post-graduate courses, the percentage of those who find a job has increased for both men and women during the last 10 years. In particular, women's employment rate shows a remarkable rise.As for junior college graduates, the employment rate was 89.9 per cent for women and 81.3 per cent for men.As for university graduates, it was 84.9 per cent for women and 89.4 per cent for men. 3.Employment The female work force in Japan (the sum of the employed and the unemployed) is on the increase; in 1992, it amounted to 26,790,000, or 40.7 per cent of the total work force.Of the female work force in 1992, 26,190,000 were employed, and 600,000 were unemployed with the unemployment rate of 2.2 per cent (the unemployment rate for the male work force was 2.1 per cent). The female labour force participation rate (percentage of work force in the population aged 15 and over) is also increasing; in 1992, it was 50.7 per cent (while the male labour force participation rate was 77.9 per cent.Female labour force participation rates for age groups form an M-shaped curve, with the rates for women aged 20-24 (75.6 per cent) and 45-49 (72.0 per cent) at the peaks and the rate for women aged 30-34 (52.7 per cent) at the bottom. This shows that many women in Japan stop working due to marriage and child-bearing, and go back to work after bringing up children.The curve, however, is shifting upwards as a whole. The labour force participation rates by marital status is as follows:in 1992, 57.4 per cent in the unmarried group, 52.9 per cent in the married group and 32.7 per cent in the divorced and the widowed group.Of the 26,190,000 female workers, 19,740,000 were employees (75.4 per cent of the total female work force), while 2,630,000 were self-employed (10.0 per cent) and 3,750,000 were family workers (14.3 per cent). While the percentage of employees continues to increase, those of the self-employed and family workers are declining. Distribution of female work force by industry is as follows:in 1992, 6,180,000 women (31.3 per cent of the female work force) were in services, 5,380,000 in retail business and restaurants (27.3 per cent), and 4,940,000 in manufacturing (25.0 per cent).Thus 83.6 per cent of the female work force was engaged in those three areas.Compared to the figures for 1980, the employment share in manufacturing has declined, and the share in services, retail business and restaurants have increased. By occupation, in 1992, 6,890,000 were clerical workers, 3,850,000 were skilled and other workers engaged in manufacturing and construction, 2,710,000 in professional and technical work, 2,510,000 in sales, and 2,220,000 in security work and services. Women also form the majority in clerical work (59.3 per cent) and security work and services (52.6 per cent).The percentage of women in managerial work rose, though marginally, from 5.1 per cent in 1980 to 7.9 per cent in 1992. Average length of service of women in 1992 was 7.4 years.Although this is shorter than that of men (12.5 years), it has increased compared to 6.1 years in 1980. As for the gap between wages of male and female workers, if part-time workers (whose working hours per day or working days per week are less than those of ordinary workers in a certain establishment) are not included, scheduled salaries for female employees are 61.5 per cent of that for male employees.Possible reasons for this are the following. In Japan, people in general are employed immediately after graduating from schools, and receive wage raises according to their experience and skills learned through in-house training and transfers.Therefore, wages of women workers, whose length of service is generally shorter than that of men, as mentioned above, tend to be lower. If one looks at wages of ordinary workers (workers who are employed upon graduating from school and continue to work under the same employer) by their academic backgrounds in order to compare men's and women's wages under the same conditions in terms of age and length of service, one will find that, among high school graduates, female workers in their twenties earn approximately 90 per cent of what male workers earn, and around the age of 50 where the gap is widest women earn about 70 per cent of what men earn. In addition, other factors such as the difference in fields of employment and occupation, and the low percentage of women in managerial posts have effects on the wage differential. Female workers' working hours are shorter than men's. At the workplace with 30 workers and above, women's average monthly work hours per person in 1992 were 150.2 hours compared to men's 172.2 hours.Both men's and women's working hours are shorter than those in the previous year. The gaps between men's and women's working hours are brought about by such factors as different regulations on overtime and holiday work for women and the high proportion of part-time workers in female labour force. Women trade union members increased from previous years to 3,520,000 members in 1992, although the percentage of unionized members is estimated to be 17.6 per cent and continues to decline.On the other hand, the proportion of women in the total of trade union members increased from 27.6 per cent in 1980 to 28.2 per cent in 1992. The number of employees in the non-agricultural sector whose working hours are less than 35 hours per week (hereinafter referred to as "part-time employees", which may be used as an alternative indicator to part-time workers) shows a constant increase.In 1992, there were 8,680,000 part-time employees, 68.2 per cent of which were women.Among all women employees, 30.2 per cent were part-time employees. One of the issues related to employment today is sexual harassment in the workplace.Although sexual harassment is not clearly defined and the situation has not been fully examined, in recent years there are cases in which women workers seek advice and counselling, and make charges involving sexual harassment. In some district courts, women employees won some of such cases although the court ruling cited an unlawful act under the Civil Code and did not directly refer to sexual harassment. 4.Status of women who are engaged in agriculture, forestry and fisheries In 1992, 1,810,000 women engaged in agriculture, forestry and fisheries.The number is almost the same as that of men (1,940,000), and 74.6 per cent of those women are family employees. As for their earnings, in 1988, 42.3 per cent of those women had a share of agricultural earnings.While 64.1 per cent of the women answered they had financial assets, only 8.6 per cent of them said they had real estate registered under their names. Since most of the rural women do not have their own real assets, the percentage of rural women who have joined farmers' pension remains as low as 4.2 per cent in 1992. Participation of women in social activities and decision-making in the local primary industries is still at a low level, though the situation is gradually improving.For example, women accounted for only 0.16 per cent of agricultural committee members (101 out of 62,166) in 1991, 12.2 per cent of full (individual) members of agricultural cooperatives (675,000 out of 5,526,000), and 0.11 per cent of management officers of the cooperatives (73 out of 66,538) in 1991. With a view to promoting women's participation in cooperative management, some agricultural cooperatives have appointed women to special advisors, although they are not statutory posts. 5.Result of the opinion poll concerning gender equality The Government of Japan conducted an opinion poll concerning gender equality in November 1992.According to the result of the opinion poll, to the question whether the status of men and women are equal in certain areas, it was only in school education where a majority of both men and women answered "yes". In other areas, most men and women answered that men are treated better.the tendency was more apparent in politics (81.7 per cent of women and 73.7 per cent of men) and social standards, customs and traditions (78.8 per cent of women and 73.3 per cent of men).(See table 36 in the annex.) The poll also shows that to the question "what is the most important to achieve equality between men and women in every field of society?" many of both men and women answered, "women's active efforts to empower themselves by gaining economic power and learning knowledge and technical skills" (28.1 per cent of women and 27.8 per cent of men), and "Reforming prejudices and rigid social practices, customs and traditions surrounding women" (26.3 per cent of women and 27.3 per cent of men).(See table 37 in the annex.) 6.Activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), etc.

(a)Liaison Group for the Implementation of the Resolutions from the International Women's Year Conference of Japan

In Japan, many women's organizations and groups are doing grass-roots activities nation-wide.In 1975, 41 national women's organizations cooperated with each other in holding the International Women's Year Conference of Japan where they adopted resolutions on the formulation of the National Plan of Action and other policies related to women.Those organizations formed the Liaison Group for the Implementation of the Resolutions from the International Women's Year Conference of Japan (International Women's Year Liaison Group), and since then the group has been working actively for the advancement of women.Their activities include submission to the President of the headquarters (Prime Minister) of petitions for the early ratification of the Convention and for the promotion of the National Plan of Action towards the Year 2000. As of September 1993, the Liaison Group consists of 52 organizations.

(b)United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Japan Committee

The IWY Liaison Group, in conjunction with two organizations set up by the two designated cities, namely, Yokohoma Women's Association for Communication and Networking and Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women, and other organizations established the UNIFEM Japan Committee in November 1992 and started activities to cooperate with UNIFEM, which supports the efforts of women in the developing countries to improve their lives through public relations and fund raising.

(c)Other NGO activities

Apart from the above-mentioned activities of the NGOs, there are many women's organizations and groups that are doing studies on the Convention and other activities in various parts of Japan. Those NGOs engage in a wide range of activities including culture and hobbies, conservation of environment and improvement of consumers' life from women's standpoint, and activities to enhance friendship between Asian countries.Those NGOs use their own facilities and women's centres and other institutions for women established by local authorities as a centre for their activities.Many NGOs form liaison groups and councils at national, prefectural and municipal levels to exchange information and coordinate joint activities. 7.Other developments

(a)Provisions on marriage and divorce under the Civil Code Although married couples are free to choose either husbands' or wives' surnames upon marriage under the Japanese legal system, 98 per cent of wives have chosen their husbands' surnames in practice. Since in those cases the wives have to change their surnames, which causes inconveniences to women in their social activities, a view has been expressed that a husband and a wife should be allowed to assume separate surnames. The Legislative Council, an advisory body to the Minister of Justice, is now reviewing the provisions pertaining to marriage and divorce under the Civil Code.In the light of the above-mentioned view, whether to allow a married couple to use separate surnames is one of the issues being considered by the Council.

(b)Prostitution involving foreign women

Among those women who have entered Japan as tourists from South-East Asia and other countries and overstayed illegally after the expiration of their landing permit, there are many who find themselves involved in prostitution and other indecent acts for various reasons.In order to prevent them, in April 1990, the Prostitution Countermeasures Council submitted to the Prime Minister a petition for strengthening of control of prostitution, examination of entry and visas as well as for strengthening of counselling and support system and the promotion of economic cooperation for developing countries.NGOs are also working strenuously to extend support and cooperation to those women.


1.Appointment of the Minister for Women's Affairs When Prime Minister Miyazawa reshuffled his cabinet in December 1992, he appointed the Chief Cabinet Secretary to serve as the first Minister of State responsible for Women's Affairs who takes charge of coordination of measures carried out by competent administrative organs for the sake of comprehensive promotion of women's affairs. In January 1993, the Minister attended the Meeting of National Women Leaders to exchange views with the participants with a view to grasping the needs of women.The Minister also made efforts to promote women's participation in policy decision-making, as reported in the following sections.In the Hosokawa Administration which was formed on 9 August 1993, the Chief Cabinet Secretary was also appointed as the Minister responsible for Women's Affairs. 2.Machinery of the headquarters for the Planning and Promoting of Policies Relating to Women (strip in chart) Mandates are as follows:

(a)The headquarters:To liaise with related administrative organs and promote comprehensive and effective policies for women including incorporating into national policies the decisions adopted at the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women in Nairobi as well as measures necessary to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

(b)Special Advisers:To participate in following up the implementation of measures relating to women, in monitoring women's affairs and, when necessary, in measures promoted by the headquarters.

(c)Advisory Council:To gather and present opinions to contribute to the planning and promotion of measures relating to women.

(d)Strengthening of the headquarters:In July 1993, the headquarters decided on "Strengthening of the Machinery to Promote Active and Joint Participation of Men and Women in Society" to manifest the direction of measures to be taken by the Government, of which the details are provided in Part Three, 2, article 3.

3.The New National Plan of Action towards the Year 2000 (First Revision) As the first medium term for the implementation of the concrete measures of the New National Plan of Action towards the Year 2000 (formulated in 1987) expired in 1990, and as the recommendations to improve the pace of implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women were adopted in the General Assembly of the United Nations, the headquarters revised for the first time the New Plan of Action in May 1991. The overall goal of the Revised Plan is "the creation of a society of active and joint participation by both men and women".The Revised Plan consists of the following five basic targets, and under those targets 16 priority objectives are put up:

(a)Improving people's awareness of equality between men and women;

(b)Achieving active and joint participation in society by men and women on an equal footing;

(c)Improving conditions enabling women to have expanded choices in life;

(d)Assuring women's welfare in old age;

(e)Promoting international cooperation and contribution to peace.

Under the Revised Plan, the basic policies are to be promoted by 2000, and concrete measures by 1995. The main revised points are as follows:

(a)Increasing the percentage of women members in national advisory councils and committees to 15 per cent by about 1995; the target date was moved up by five years from the original plan;

(b)Reviewing legal provisions pertaining to marriage and divorce in the Civil Code, including provisions requiring married couples to use the same surname;

(c)Promoting women in development;

(d)Establishing a committee for the reinforcement of the national machinery's function.

4.Main policies of the Government including legal arrangements From the submission of the second periodic report up to September 1993, the following legal and other measures were implemented, some of which will be elaborated in Part Three:

(a)Making home economics compulsory for both boys and girls in primary and secondary schools

The same curriculum of home economics for boys and girls is to be introduced in high schools as introduced in primary and junior high schools.Consequently, home economics will be compulsory for both boys and girls in all primary and secondary schools from 1994.

(b)Enforcement of legislation on child-care leave

Legislation on child-care leave for male and female employees both in the public and private sectors went into effect on 1 April 1992.

(c)Enactment of legislation on the improvement of personnel management for part-time workers

The Law concerning the Improvement of Personnel Management for Part-time Workers was enacted in June 1993 to ensure appropriate working conditions for the part-time workers.

(d)Amendment to the Labour Standards Law

Amendment was made to the Labour Standards Law to reduce the statutory working hours to 40 hours per week.The amendment bill was enacted in June 1993.

(e)Formulation of the Second Basic Policy Plan on the Welfare of Women Workers

The Second Basic Policy Plan on the Welfare of Women Workers was formulated based on the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, and was published in April 1992.

(f)Formulation of guidelines for family-care leave

As caring for family members has become a serious problem for workers in continuing their work, the Ministry of Labour issued family-care leave guidelines in July 1992 with a view to encouraging employers to introduce and improve their welfare systems including family-care leave.

(g)Enactment of the Law concerning Improvements in the Personnel Management of Health Care Workers

In order to achieve comprehensive and systematic improvement of the welfare of workers who engage in health care services by profession, the Law concerning the Improvements in the Personnel Management of Health Care Workers was enacted in May 1992 and went into force in July 1992.

(h)Amendment to the Child Allowance Law

In view of the recent demographic changes and the changing environment surrounding children and the family, the Child Allowance Law was amended and went into force in January 1992 with a view to strengthening social support for coming generations and support for families with children.

(i)Enactment of the Law of Promotion for Securing Nursing Personnel

In order to secure nurses and workers in health and medical services, the Law of Promotion for Securing Nursing Personnel was promulgated in June 1992 with a view to improving existing measures to secure such personnel.The Law went into force in November 1992.

(k)Amendment to the Enforcement Order for the Coastal Fisheries Improvement Fund Subsidy Law

A cabinet ordinance concerning an amendment to a part of the Enforcement Order for the Law was proclaimed and enacted in September 1992.The purpose is to rearrange the fund for the aged people out of the Fisher's Living Improvement Fund which prefectural governments lend based on the Law to the fund for both women and the aged people as well as to strengthen the fund.

(l)Interim report on provisions pertaining to marriage and divorce under the Civil Code

5.Public relations, awareness-raising and dissemination of information

(a)Designated days, weeks and months for the advancement of women In order to improve the status of women and achieve de facto equality of men and women, the Government of Japan has designated special days, weeks and months with the purpose of informing the public of government policies and their objectives and to correct traditional gender-role concepts.During such periods, various awareness-raising activities are carried out all over the country through such events as national conferences, symposia and opening of counselling offices.Of such days, weeks and months, major ones are as follows:
Names of designated Date Sponsoring ministries and agenciesday, week or month
Rural Fishing Village 10 March Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry andWomen's Day. Fisheries
Women's Week 10-16 April Ministry of Labour
Nursing Week A week including Ministry of Health and Welfare12 May (Nursing Day)
Equal Employment June Ministry of LabourOpportunity Month
Senior Citizen's 15-21 September Management and Coordination Agency,Welfare Week. Ministry of Health and Welfare, etc.
Month for Harmonization of Work October Ministry of Labourand Child-care
Ten Days for Part-time 1-10 November Ministry of LabourWorker's Programme
Human Rights Week 4-10 December Ministry of Justice
Campaign to Clean up Two weeks including 24 May Prime Minister's Office, National PolicePublic Morals. (Anniversary of the enactment of Agency, Ministry of Justice, Ministry ofthe Anti-Prostitution Law). Education, Ministry of Health and Welfareand Ministry of Labour

(b)Publication of White Papers

The Prime Minister's Office published, in December 1992, the second report on the implementation of the New National Plan of Action (First Revision) for creating a society of active and joint participation of men and women.The third report is scheduled to be published in 1993.The Ministry of Labour also publishes

(c)Public relations and awareness-raising through the media

The Government of Japan conducts various information activities through the media including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio broadcasting, with a view to improving women's status and to create a society of active and joint participation of men and women.

(d)Dissemination of information through WINET

In July 1991, the Information Centre of the National Women's Education Centre started WINET, the on-line information retrieval service on women and family.The Centre has so far developed four bibliographical databases (books, local government publications, Japanese periodical articles and Japanese newspaper articles) and three learning information databases (education programmes for women in local governments, women's centres and organizations and women's study programmes).As of 30 June 1993, the Centre provides information to 174 institutions such as community education facilities, prefectural boards of education and governors' offices, research institutes including universities as well as women's facilities and centres throughout the country. The Centre is also active in developing a network of interested organizations and facilities, groups and individuals, both foreign and domestic, through making, distributing and exchanging various information materials.

(e)Other activities

Activities of the Advisory Council to the President of the headquarters Apart from presenting opinions on such occasions as the formulation of the National Plan of Action, the Advisory Council to the President of the headquarters functions through three committees:the Information Committee, the Committee on NGOs and Local Governments and the Research and Study Committee. Approximately once a month the Information Committee holds lectures for the members of the Diet, government officials, major women's organizations, and journalists, etc. on women's affairs and current topics relating to women given by experts from Japan and abroad, such as Ms. Sharon Capling-Alakija, Director of UNIFEM and Ms. Margaret Shields, Director of the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).The Committee, among other things, invites representatives who attended the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and the Commission on the Status of Women to give lectures on those meetings at the end of every March. The Committee on NGOs and Local Governments conducted a survey on the administration of local governments concerning women in July 1992, following up the survey conducted in February 1990. The results of the survey were published in September 1993. Conferences and meetings held by the headquarters The headquarters has held annually from 1979 a regional forum on women's issues which is open to the public with the aim of publicizing and further promoting the New National Plan of Action (First Revision) for creating a society of active and joint participation of men and women, etc.It has also convened a National Conference several times since it held the first Conference in 1980, and annually since 1990.In addition, the headquarters has convened annually a meeting of directors of divisions in charge of women's affairs of local governments since 1977, and regional meetings of these directors in several local blocs since 1987 to liaise with local governments.

(f)Activities of local governments

Local governments are also active in promoting measures relating to women.As of September 1993, all 47 prefectures and 12 designated cities have divisions/units for policy planning, liaison and coordination on women's affairs, and have formulated action plans to promote measures relating to women and established advisory bodies to reflect public opinion.They are also taking measures in line with those action plans including establishment of women's centres and other institutions for women (in 40 local governments as of April 1993 including ones under construction), promotion of women's participation in policy planning, awareness-raising and information activities.There are, however, considerable differences in the state of progress in local governments.


1.Article 2 Developments regarding the implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, which stipulates equal treatment for men and women in employment, will be reported under article 11.Concerning the present provision, the following sections provide information in terms of women and violence, on women victims of crimes, as well as prevention and control of violence against women.

(a)Women victims of crimes

The number of reported cases of criminal offence known to the police by charges of which women are their victims is provided in table 38 in the annex.In 1972, of 1,182,960 cases of criminal offence, 251,859 (21.3 per cent) were the cases in which the victims were women.Both the number and percentage of such cases have increased in the past 20 years to 511,551 cases (32.5 per cent) out of 1,575,659 cases in 1992, an increase of more than 10 percentage points.By charges, thefts accounted for the most and almost doubled in the number of cases.On the other hand, the cases of rape declined considerably from 4,677 in 1972 to 1,504 in 1992.However, it is assumed that there are cases of violence against women, including domestic violence, which were not recognized because they are not reported.

(b)Prevention and control of violence against women: penalties under the Criminal Code

In order to prevent rape and other forms of violence against women, the following penal provisions are prescribed and strictly enforced - article 176 (Indecent acts against women 13 years old or over through violence or intimidation.Imprisonment with labour for the term between six months and seven years); the last sentence of article 176 (Indecent acts against women under 13 years old. Imprisonment with labour for the term between six months and seven years); article 177 (Sexual intercourse with women 13 years old or over through violence or intimidation.Imprisonment with labour for a limited term of not less than two years); the last sentence of article 177 (Sexual intercourse with women under 13 years old.Imprisonment with labour for a limited term of not less than two years). Illegality of prostitution:As reported in the initial report, prostitution is illegal in Japan. A campaign to clean up public morals is conducted in every prefecture under the auspices of related ministries with a purpose to raising awareness of the public on the prevention of prostitution and venereal diseases.The campaign runs about two weeks and is timed to include 24 May, the anniversary of the enactment of the Anti-Prostitution Law. Information on the related offences is provided under article 6. 2.Article 3 With respect to article 3, the following sections provide information on reinforcement of the national machinery as well as measures for women with disabilities, which was not included in the previous reports.

(a)Reinforcement of the national machinery

(i)Consideration and submission of a report by the Committee for Reinforcement of the National Machinery's Function

In August 1991, it was decided to establish a committee of experts with a view to reinforcing the headquarters for Planning and Promoting of Policies Relating to Women, based on the New National Plan of Action towards the Year 2000 (First Revision).The Committee conducted hearings from ministries of the headquarters, research on national machineries in other developed countries by dispatching study missions and hearings from local governments on their activities. After due consideration, the Committee submitted a report to the President of the headquarters on the future modalities of the headquarters in May 1993. The report said that it is required to promote comprehensive and coordinated measures with a view to ensuring that women lead a full life towards the creation of a society of active and joint participation of men and women. For that purpose, the report requested to review the machinery of the headquarters to promote those measures and to reflect public opinion through an advisory body.

(ii)The headquarters' decision on the reinforcement of the machinery in relation to the above-mentioned report

In May 1993, the headquarters agreed to take actions taking into consideration the opinions contained in the report.In July, it decided on the reinforcement of the national machinery to promote measures to achieve a society of active and joint participation of men and women to manifest the direction of measures the Government will take. The decision includes reinforcement of the machinery (restructuring of the headquarters, setting up of an advisory body to reflect public opinions and to strengthening of the secretariat) and a request for the local governments to take more active measures as regards women's issues.

(b)Measures for women with disabilities

In March 1993, the Government formulated the New Long-Term Programme for Government Measures for Disabled Persons to address the measures for the disabled persons after the United Nations Decade of Disabled Persons.The Government is promoting comprehensive measures in line with the Programme for disabled women as well as disabled men to achieve a society in which each individual is an active member. Those measures include home helper services and other in-home welfare services, services at rehabilitation and training facilities, provision of prosthetic devices, such as artificial limbs and wheelchairs, and provision of equipment for daily use such as Braille typewriters and special beds under the Law for the Welfare of Physically Disabled Persons, the Law for the Welfare of the Mentally Retarded Persons, and the Mental Health Law.Also under the Law for the Employment Promotion, etc. of Disabled Persons, measures are being promoted to enhance and secure employment of disabled persons through strict enforcement of the employment ratio system and promotion of vocational rehabilitation. In addition, there are measures to ensure income as well as a special tax deduction.Other measures are also being promoted, including removal of obstacles in such public places as buildings, roads and traffic terminals and equipment of facilities such as escalators, lifts and toilets for disabled persons. 3.Article 4.1

(a)Setting a target on percentage of women in national advisory bodies As described in the Second Report, in revising the New National Plan of Action, the headquarters moved up the target date to achieve women's share of 15 per cent in national advisory bodies by five years to approximately 1995, and continues its efforts to that end.

(b)Request for cooperation in promotion of women in advisory bodies of local governments

Upon setting the new target date as mentioned above, in July 1991 the headquarters issued a request to the heads of the prefectural governments and designated cities for cooperation to set up a new target concerning the promotion of women in their advisory bodies.As of the end of March 1993, target figures and dates of those local governments are as follows:
  Number of local1993-1995 Target date 1996-2000 governments (%) Target 2001- Not fixed
30% & over 11 (18.7) 3 6 2  
20-25% 30 (50.8) 11 15 2 2
15% 12 (20.3) 4 8    
12% 1 (1.7) 1      
Total 54 (91.5) 19 29 4 2
Not fixed 5 (8.5)        
Grand total 59* (100)        
* 47 Prefectures and 12 designated cities. Source:Prime Minister's office.

(c)Promotion of assistance to women who wish to be re-employed

As there are many women who stop working upon childbirth and child-care and wish to resume work after bringing up their children, special measures are promoted to assist those women such as promotion of the re-employment system for women by the companies, services for preparation for re-entering into labour market, and assistance for employment in related facilities. 4.Article 5 (a)

(a)Request to the media for understanding and cooperation

The New National Plan of Action (First Revision) includes as one of the basic policies to be achieved by 2000 "To request understanding and cooperation of the media for presenting images reflecting the idea of gender equality in publications, advertisement and TV programmes" under its first priority objective of "Improving people's awareness of equality between men and women".One of the concrete measures to be implemented between 1991-1995 is "To encourage the media to make efforts to present images reflecting the idea of gender equality". In May 1991, upon the first revision of the Plan, the Prime Minister's office briefed the people in the media on its purpose and contents. The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and other ministries as well as the Prime Minister's office also hold briefing sessions from time to time for journalists and editors who follow women's affairs. In August 1991, the Deputy Cabinet Secretary issued a request for cooperation on the Revised Plan to the heads of organizations of broadcasting, newspapers and publications.Similar briefings and requests for cooperation were made at the secretariat level to the people concerned.

(b)Awareness-raising activities including Women's Week

During Women's Week, as reported in the previous two reports, the Ministry of Labour, from 1991 under the theme of "Let's make an epoch we can live vividly irrespective of sex", conducts nationwide campaign in conjunction with local authorities, women's organizations, trade unions, employers' associations and mass media organizations to eradicate stereotyped sex-role concepts and create a society in which each individual may lead his/her own life. From 1993, revenue from Local Subsidy Tax can be utilized by prefectural governments' activities for awareness-raising in various fields including information activities on the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and activities to correct stereotyped role concepts, which will contribute to the promotion of gender equality in employment.

(c)Public relations activities by the Government

In carrying out its information activities, the Government pays attention to avoid enhancing stereotyped role concepts of men and women, i.e., by producing posters to present women's active participation in various fields.The Government also makes efforts to follow the objectives of the New National Plan of Action (First Revision) in producing posters and information material.

(d)Other activities

Since 1992, the Tokyo Women's Foundation has conducted an annual contest of gender-sensitive advertisement, and presented an honour to those TV commercials, posters and advertisements in newspapers and magazines that are recommended by citizens of Tokyo as favourable in addressing women's issues. In March 1993, the Prefecture of Osaka reviewed description and images that reflected stereotyped role concepts in its publications, and compiled a guidebook for expression towards a society of active and joint partnership of men and women, which provides basic guidelines to project positive images of such a society. 5.Article 5 (b) According to the survey on social life conducted by the Management and Coordination Agency in 1991, women spent three hours and fifty-two minutes per day on household work including housekeeping and child-care whereas men spent only twenty-four minutes.In two-income families, wives spent four hours and seventeen minutes compared to husbands' nineteen minutes, which shows that it is mainly wives who do housekeeping and child-care. In addition to the measures that had already been implemented, the Government started the following measures in 1991 to promote further the recognition of motherhood as social function and to enhance men and women to have joint responsibility over bringing up children.

(a)Promotion of fathers' participation in home education

In 1991 and 1992, the Ministry of Education commissioned a study for local governments on learning opportunities for fathers concerning home education in order to promote fathers' participation in home education. In addition, since 1991, the Ministry has assisted in establishing a parenthood forum in civic centres, kindergartens and spare rooms of elementary schools where experienced parents and those who finished home education courses are assigned for networking on home education in order to revitalize educational functions of family and community, and promoting exchange of information and experiences on home education and networking in the neighbourhood.

(b)Community support programmes for child-rearing in child-care centres

As it is necessary to further community support for parents with children, model projects were started in 1993 to provide counselling and guidance to alleviate worries of parents and to develop and assist local child-care circles to support child-care in the family through their nursing activities. 6.Article 6 Concerning this article, the previous reports gave an outline of the Anti-Prostitution Law and other legal provisions, cases cleared up concerning prostitution-related crimes, control of prostitution and awareness-raising activities with respect to the dignity of the sexes so as to prevent prostitution.This report provides information on the total number of cases cleared up and the number of such cases by provisions of the related laws as well as protection and rehabilitation measures for those women who need them, which were not included in the previous reports.

(a)Cases cleared up concerning prostitution-related crimes

Changes in the number of cases cleared up in relation to the prostitution-related crimes by applied provisions are shown in table 40 in the annex. In 1992, of 6,516 such cases, offences against the Anti-Prostitution Law amounted to 6,315 or more than 96 per cent of all such cases.Among those, major offences are solicitation (article 5; 477 cases), procurement (article 6; 3,285 cases), contracts to make a person prostitute (article 10; 2,311 cases) and furnishing of places (article 11; 143 cases).Others include 122 cases under the Child Welfare Law, 63 cases under the Employment Security Law and 16 cases under the Criminal Code.

(b)Protection and rehabilitation of women who need protection

(i)Women's Consultative Offices

Women's Consultative Offices are established in every prefecture under article 34 of the Anti-Prostitution Law.Those offices, as a core institution for protection and rehabilitation, provide professional counselling and guidance, conduct survey and judgement and extend temporary protection to those women who are feared will commit prostitution in view of their conduct and environmental factors.

(ii)Women's Consultants

Women's Consultants are part-time officials of the local governments.Under article 35 of the Anti-Prostitution Law, it is compulsory for prefectural governments and is optional for municipal governments to appoint such consultants. Their task is to find those women who need protection, provide counselling on their problems concerning their life, work, health, application for women's protective institutions (as explained below), families and other surrounding factors, and conduct necessary guidance and arrangements including recommendation to the related facilities.

(iii)Women's protective institutions

Women's protective institutions accommodate those women who need protection based on the decisions of the Chief of women's consultative offices and give guidance on life and work to achieve independence and rehabilitation of the women under their protection.Those institutions also keep close contact and cooperate with other related organizations by holding meetings with counselling centres, welfare offices and public employment security offices in order to facilitate rehabilitation guidance for the women under their protection. Article 36 of the Anti-Prostitution Law stipulates that prefectural governments may establish such protective institutions as well as municipal governments and other organizations including social welfare juridical persons.In April 1965, in order to accommodate those women who have difficulty in rehabilitation at ordinary facilities, Kanita Women's Village (a protection facility for long-term accommodation) was established.As of 1 October 1991, there were 53 women's protective institutions with a capacity of 1,742 people, 754 women under protection and 559 staff members. 7.Article 7 (a)

(a)Increase of female Diet members and the inauguration of the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives

After submission of the second report, elections of the House of Councillors and the House of Representatives were held in July 1992 and in July 1993, respectively.As the result of those elections, the number of women members in the House of Councillors increased from 34 to 37, and in the House of Representatives from 12 to 14.As of the end of July 1993, including the members who hold their seats by replacement, there are 14 women in the House of Representatives and 38 women in the House of Councillors, with the total of 52 women Diet members.It is for the first time that women in the Diet have exceeded 50. Women account for 6.8 per cent (6.1 per cent in March 1992; 6.5 per cent in July 1992) of the 763 Diet seats. Furthermore, on 6 August 1993, a woman was elected to serve as the sixty-eighth Speaker of the House of Representatives for the first time in the history of Japan.

(b)Appointment of female Ministers

In December 1992, Prime Minister Miyazawa reshuffled his cabinet and appointed a woman to be minister (Minister of Education) and another woman to be vice-minister (Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Labour). In August 1993, Prime Minister Hosokawa appointed in his cabinet three women to ministerial posts (Minister of Education, Director-General of the Economic Planning Agency and Director-General of the Environment Agency), which is the largest number in history, and two women to vice-ministers (Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Management and Co-ordination and Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Science and Technology).

(c)Women in national advisory bodies

As of the end of March 1993, the proportion of women in national advisory councils exceeded 10 per cent for the first time to be 10.4 per cent.In general, there are three categories of members in those councils:members designated subject to their official posts, members recommended by related organizations and other members.Women accounted for 2.7 per cent of the members designated subject to their posts, 4.8 per cent of the members recommended by organizations and 12.8 per cent of other members.The low proportion in the first category is a result of a small number of women in the senior public posts, and therefore is related to the recruitment and promotion of women in the civil service.As the proportion of women in the members recommended by organizations is also low, the Chief Cabinet Secretary made requests for 300-odd organizations to consider recommending more women candidates.In July 1993, the first Minister for Women's Affairs issued a request for cooperation in recommending more women candidates to advisory councils and promoting women in their own organizations.

(d)Proportion of women in local assemblies, administrative heads and advisory bodies of the local governments

(i)Women in local assemblies

The number of women in local assemblies shows a slight increase.As of December 1992, there were 2,158 women out of 65,360 members, or 3.3 per cent of all members of prefectural and municipal assemblies (3.2 per cent in December 1991).

(ii)Women as the heads of the local governments

As of the end of December 1992, there were 3,259 municipalities.Since the first women town mayor was elected in 1955, a maximum of three women town mayors were incumbent at one time.In 1991 and 1992, respectively, a woman was elected as city mayor.As of 1 July 1993, there are two women city mayors and one woman town mayor.There are no women among the heads of 47 prefectures and 12 designated cities.

(iii)Women as the deputy heads of governments of prefectures and of designated cities

As for vice-governors and deputy mayors who are appointed by heads of local governments in the 47 prefectures and 12 designated cities, two women were appointed to vice-governors (including Vice-Governor of Tokyo) and another to deputy mayor for the first time in 1991. In the following year, the third woman vice-governor assumed office.As of February 1993, there are three women vice-governors and one woman deputy mayor.

(iv)Women in advisory bodies of local governments

Prefectures and designated cities are also making efforts to increase women's representation in their advisory councils.In 1992, the proportion of women in statutory advisory councils was 9.6 per cent. 8.Article 7 (b) Since the previous report, service areas for female Self-Defence Force (SDF) personnel and female police officers have expanded.

(a)Expansion of service areas for female (SDF) personnel (uniformed)

The Defence Agency has upheld the policy not to deploy female SDF personnel in the areas of direct exposure to combat, supporting areas to a combat force on the front line, and areas that require extra physical strength.However, in view of the recent advancement of women following the enforcement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and examples of activities of women in foreign countries and other factors, the Defence Agency has reviewed its policy on the deployment of female SDF personnel in order to expand their service areas and utilize their potentials. Consequently, all posts of the Ground, Maritime and Air SDF, except those posts to which the deployments of female SDF personnel are restricted for the time being for the sake of protection of motherhood and other reasons, are opened to female personnel.In particular, women are admitted to the Maritime and Air SDF as Student Airmen and allowed to take examinations of Student Airmen from 1993.

(b)Active recruitment of female police officers and expansion of job areas

The police force is promoting active recruitment of female police officers and expansion of such job areas in order to appropriately address increasingly complicated and diversified police cases and to conduct police work utilizing women's faculties.The number of prefectures that have started recruitment of female police officers is rapidly increasing.Four prefectures started recruitment of women in 1991, and 10 in 1992. As of 1 April 1993, there are approximately 5,400 female police officers working in 45 prefectures (600 more than the previous year).Two more prefectures are scheduled to start recruiting women from 1993, and from 1994 all prefectures are expected to have female police officers working in their police force.The job areas are also expanding to various fields including criminal investigation, identification, analysis of information, escorting and guarding VIPs and security as well as traffic control, juvenile guidance, detention of women suspects and public relations.The promotion of women to senior management posts is also under way:in March 1990, a female officer was promoted to police superintendent for the first time. 9.Article 8

(a)Participation of women in international conferences The number of women in official delegations to international conferences is on a gradual increase.Since 1975, women representatives and alternates have participated in the following international conferences: United Nations General Assembly (representative, alternate) Special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament (representative) Economic and Social Council (alternate) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) (Head of delegation, alternate) Conference on the Law of the Sea (alternate) United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations (representative) United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (representative, alternate) United Nations Conference on an International Code of Conduct on the Transfer of Technology (alternate) World Assembly on Ageing (representative) International Conference on Population (alternate) World Conference on Women (head of delegation, representative, alternate) General Conference of the International Labour Organisation (representative, alternate, advisor) General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (representative, advisor) Universal Postal Conference (alternate) Executive Board of the United Nations Children Fund (representative) Special session of the General Assembly on economy (alternate) Conference on International Justice (representative) United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (representative) United Nations Environment Programme (representative) In addition, a woman representative and two women advisors attended the World Conference on Human Rights held in June 1993.

(b)Participation of women in international organizations

(i)International organizations

The proportion of women in the Japanese staff in the United Nations Secretariat jumped up from 12 per cent at the end of June 1978 to 47 per cent at the end of June 1993. The number of Japanese women in professional posts in major international organizations, including the United Nations, shows a considerable increase from 19 in 1975 to more than 170 in 1992.As of the end of 1992, there are several Japanese women working in senior management posts including Mrs. Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Director of Personnel at UNESCO, Director of the Department of Peace-keeping Operations, Resident Representative of United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh, and Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP Secretariat.

(ii) Women ambassadors

Japan has had four women ambassadors, one of whom is the incumbent ambassador to Kenya. 10.Article 9 There have been no developments worthy of note since the second report. 11.Article 10

(a)New projects for promoting gender equality in National Women's Education Centre Since 1991, the National Women's Education Centre has started convening the "Joint Forum for Women and Men" for leaders of various organizations to promote joint participation of men and women and to provide opportunities to exchange information and enhance research and consultations to promote life-long learning. Since 1992, the Centre has conducted programme studies for correcting stereotyped role concepts among young men and women to research and study on subjects and methods of learning that contribute to a change in the concept of gender equality.The Centre also convenes home education study seminars with the theme of "family education in the era of a few children". Since 1993, the Centre has deployed two researchers to strengthen its research and study function.

(b)Making home economics compulsory for men and women

As reported in the second report, according to the new Courses of Study (revised in 1989), the same curriculum of home economics for both boys and girls has been implemented in junior high schools (from 1993), and is scheduled to be implemented in high schools from 1994. Various measures are being promoted for the smooth introduction of the curriculum. Following the above, related description in textbooks are being elaborated. 12.Article 11 (a)-(c)

(a)Implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law

Following the enforcement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, many companies improved their personnel management to comply with the statutory requirements.As the understanding of the purpose of the law is steadily deepening, there is a growing atmosphere in society to utilize women's potentials while women themselves become more conscious of their work.However, there still remain problems including the existence of recruitment and hiring of "men only" especially in case of engineers.As improvements in practice lag behind the improvements in systems, ensuring de facto equality is a task to be fulfilled. The Ministry of Labour conducts awareness-raising activities in various occasions in order to promote understanding of the purpose of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and to ensure equal treatment for men and women.In particular, during the Equal Employment Opportunity Month in June, the Ministry conducts an intensive public relations campaign including convening of a national conference. In addition to the measures already implemented such as guidance, assistance and consultation by Women's and Young Workers' Offices and promotion of self-check by business establishments, measures to ensure equal employment opportunities for new school leavers have started from 1993 in order to ensure effective implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law.Since there are concerns over the alleged tighter restrictions on recruitment of female students than male students as an increasing number of companies are taking labour adjustment measures including refraining from new recruitment due to the recent recession, the Ministry has established special consulting sections in some of the Women's and Young Workers' Offices and made a request to the employers' associations to enhance understanding of the objective of the law and to ensure that female and male students have equal opportunities on recruitment and employment. In April 1993, Women's and Young Workers' Problems Council started considering effective measures to enhance further the understanding of the purpose of the law, including the possibility of reviewing the laws and guidelines.The Council is also considering relaxation of the restrictions to protect women except those on maternal protection under the Labour Standards Law in order to ensure equal opportunity and treatment between men and women in employment, with a view to realizing the same legal framework for men and women.

(b)Principle of equal pay for equal work for men and women

Concerning the principle of equal pay for equal work for men and women, Article 4 of the Labour Standards Law prohibits wage discrimination based only on sex.The Ministry has been endeavouring to ensure the implementation of the provision through supervision of and guidance to establishments.

(c)Proposal to review the social system for full utilization of women's professional potentials

Under the present framework of the tax and social security system, many women part-time workers limit their work hours to keep their income within a certain amount in order to be treated as dependants of their spouses.In such cases, the potential of women is not fully utilized.Therefore, in July 1993, Women's and Young Workers Problems Council (an advisory body to the Minister of Labour) submitted to the Minister of Finance, Minister of Health and Welfare, Minister of Labour and Minister of Home Affairs, a proposal on the review of the social system for full utilization of women's professional potentials including tax and social security systems surrounding married women with a view to utilizing women as a basic labour force.

(d)Enactment and enforcement of the Child-care Leave Law

In order to promote compatibility of work and family responsibility, the Child-care Leave Law for employees in the private sector was enacted in May 1991, and other laws for the various public sector employees were enacted in December 1991, all of which went into force in April 1992.Under these laws, parents of children under one year old, either mothers or fathers, may take child-care leave. In order to promote the application of the Child-care Leave Law in the private sector, it is necessary to advocate the purpose and contents of the law.The Ministry of Labour conducts intensive awareness-raising activities in the "Month for Harmonization of Work and Child-care", and also takes every opportunity to publicize the purpose and contents of the law. In 1992, the Ministry established "Subsidy for the Implementation of Programmes to Facilitate the Return to Work by Workers after Child-care Leave", a system to provide subsidies to the employers who implement appropriate measures to provide information to, and to maintain and improve the vocational adaptability and capability of those workers who take child-care leave in the private sector in order to help them resume work smoothly.The Ministry makes efforts to enhance the child-care leave by utilizing the said system. In addition, the problem of financial support to those who take child-care leave is now under consideration in the relevant council.The state of the implementation for the Child-care Leave Law in the private sector is now under investigation. In addition, in conjunction with the enforcement of the Law, measures are taken to facilitate mid-term entry of children into child-care centres from May 1992.

(e)Promotion of family-care leave scheme

There is a strong need for strengthening measures to support workers who are caring for family members to fulfil their responsibility in work as well as in the family.In July 1992, the Government formulated "Guidelines for the Family-care Leave Scheme" to promote introduction of family-care leave and the measures concerned in line with the guidelines through guidance to the employees and the employers.In particular, intensive public relations activities, including a symposium on work and family-care, are carried out around 15 September, the Respect-for-the-Aged Day, to enhance effective awareness-raising.

(f)Subsidies to set up company creches

In 1993, the Ministry of Labour began to provide subsidies to those employers who set up and operate child-care facilities in their business establishments or start to operate such facilities by renting with a view to encouraging opening of such facilities.

(g)Assisting employment of working women

From 1991, the Ministry of Labour commissioned the Japan Institute of Workers Evolution to implement the project to assist employment of working women (2020 Telephone) to provide counselling on child-care, family-care and housekeeping to enable women workers with family responsibilities to enjoy various relevant services when needed, and to help them to continue work and get re-employed.From 1993, the areas in which the project is implemented are expanded. 13.Article 12 Concerning Article 12, information on family planning and measures to combat HIV infection, which were not included in the previous reports, are provided in the following sections.

(a)Family planning

The concept of family planning has been promoted by the Government and NGOs since the 1950s, and are now widely known in the country.According to a survey, more than 80 per cent of married women have experiences of family planning of some sort.

(b)Countermeasures against AIDS/HIV

(i)Integration of the measures in the New National Plan of Action (First Revision)

Awareness-raising on emerging issues which affect women's health is one of the practical measures under a policy objective of "Awareness-raising on the importance of maternity and dignity of sex and protection of maternity" in the New National Plan of Action (First Revision). Activities to disseminate correct information and raise awareness on such issues as AIDS, drug abuse and alcohol dependency are promoted for both men and women.

(ii)Implementation of measures to combat AIDS/HIV

In Japan, the first AIDS case was found in 1985, and the first female AIDS case in 1987.The first case of maternity infection was reported in 1990. Presently, cases of HIV infection are scattered widely in the country, and in most cases the infection was through heterosexual intercourse. In February 1987, the ministerial meeting to combat AIDS decided the outline of comprehensive countermeasures against AIDS, which was revised in March 1992.The measures based on the said outlines have been implemented under the collaboration to relevant ministries. Individual counselling on AIDS is provided by doctors in the Health Centres established by prefectures and designated cities.In such counselling, doctors advise persons who seem to require them to take HIV tests.If they agree to take HIV tests, such checks are provided free of charge. The HIV tests are available for other individuals if they cover the costs.

(iii)Awareness-raising on correct information on AIDS

In addition to various information activities which had already been carried out, the Ministry of Health and Welfare established in October 1992 the Task Force to Stop AIDS Plan presided over by the Minister of Health and Welfare to publicize widely the correct information on AIDS, with the cooperation of local governments and the private sector. The Ministry of Education is also actively implementing such measures as producing teaching material and training for teaching staff with a view to teaching correct information on AIDS in schools, eradicating misunderstandings and prejudices against AIDS and nurturing the spirit of human dignity.Information on sex education, which is closely related to AIDS education, was included in the second report. Learning opportunities are provided for leaders of social education and local communities in order to promote correct information on AIDS, and subsidies are extended to local governments' classes and courses on AIDS. Health Centres also engage in information activities by distributing pamphlets and using videos when carrying out individual counselling. 14.Article 13 Amendment to the Enforcement Order for the Coastal Fisheries Improvement Fund Subsidy Law A cabinet ordinance concerning an amendment to a part of the Enforcement Order for the law was proclaimed and enacted in September 1992.The purpose is to re-arrange the fund for aged people out of the Fisher's Living Improvement Fund which prefectural governments lend based on the law to the fund for both women and the aged people as well as to strengthen the fund. 15.Article 14

(a)Formulation of the basic direction of new policies for food, agriculture and rural areas In June 1992, "the Basic Direction of New Policies for Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas" was formulated to indicate issues on food, agriculture and rural policy and future policy directions in response to the emerging social and economic situation.It provides an objective of enhancing clear definition of women's role in agricultural production and revitalizing rural villages.


In recognition of the important role of women in agriculture and rural community, the Round-table Meeting on a Medium- and Long-term Vision for Rural Women formulated in June 1992 a report "The New Rural Women:Towards the Year 2001", which indicates future visions of rural women and basic direction of measures to be implemented to achieve such visions. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is to implement various measures in line with the medium- and long-term visions.

(c)Practical measures

In order to implement new policies and the vision, the Government, local governments and agricultural organizations are to promote measures in cooperation with each other with a focus on (i) consideration of clear definition of women's role in management, (ii) promotion of participation of women in decision-making, (iii) reducing the burden of work and improvement of favourable working conditions, (iv) training of women to improve their ability in agricultural technology and management, and (v) review of the status of women who engage in agriculture under the Farmers' Pension System. 16.Article 15 There are no developments worthy of note since the second report. 17.Article 16 Review of marriage-related laws Part 4 (Family) and Part 5 (Inheritance) of the Civil Code underwent overall review after the Second World War following the enactment of the Constitution which prescribes equality of men and women and respect for individuality.Minor amendments were also made in those provisions several times.In 1987, another amendment was made to review the adoption of children including introduction of the so-called special adoption scheme. The Legislative Council, the advisory body to the Minister of Justice, has a subcommittee to review provisions in the Civil Code relating to the family and inheritance.In January 1991, the subcommittee resumed its consideration to review Chapter 2 (Marriage) in Part 4 (Family) as the next item on the agenda. Such issues as minimal age for marriage, appropriateness of reviewing the prohibition of women's re-marriage in a certain period and surnames of married couples are now under consideration. The Ministry of Justice published an interim report on provisions pertaining to marriage and divorce, and asked for opinions from various circles by the middle of May 1993. At present, the subcommittee continues its deliberation taking into account the opinions submitted by various bodies. Apart from the above, there is no development worthy of note since the second report.

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