Japan’s new key govt policy to mandate central, local govts disclose wage gender gap

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, second from right, is seen at a meeting to discus creating a society where women can shine held on Friday at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The government decided on the 2022 version of its key policy on encouraging women’s active participation in society and improving gender equality at a meeting in Tokyo on Friday.

The decision was made at the meeting to discuss creating society where women can shine, headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. At the Prime Minister’s Office, it was proposed that not only companies but also the central and local governments should be required to disclose information on wage differences between male and female employees. To incorporate the proposal, relevant government ordinances under the law on promoting women’s advancement will be amended, to take effect in July.

“Gender equality is an essential part of society that respects individuality and diversity, which is a goal of the Kishida Cabinet,” Kishida said. “I will strongly pursue policies that will lead to raising women’s income.”

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the median value of wages for Japanese women is 77.5% of that for men. The ratio falls well short of the average for OECD member countries, at 88.4%. The government’s new key policy points out that women’s financial independence is also a pressing issue from an economic and financial policy viewpoint and should be at the core of the prime minister’s key policy, a “new form of capitalism.”

Information disclosure on the gender wage gap will be mandatory for companies with 300 or more employees. The key policy also stipulates that disclosure should include wage differences between regular and non-regular employees. As for companies with 100 or more employees, the government will conduct a review in the future, taking into consideration the situation after the revised government ordinances come into effect.

Regarding support measures for single parents, the key policy states that the government will strongly go forward with raising awareness that it is a matter of course to pay child support after a divorce, adding that a numerical target will be set for the rate at which child support payments are received.

The policy also includes the aim of the government intensively supporting women’s employment and digital technology acquisition for three years.