Metropolitan govt accepting proposals of new term for ‘childcare leave’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A man holds up his son.

The Tokyo metropolitan government is soliciting proposals for a new Japanese expression to describe childcare leave because the Japanese term “ikuji kyugyo” has a strong nuance of “vacation.”

During a speech at the Yomiuri International Economic Society in Tokyo on Wednesday, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike suggested that a new term for childcare leave might help to change the trend. Metropolitan government officials think a new term will encourage more men to take advantage of the leave.

Childcare leave has been enshrined in law since 1992. However, the proportion of fathers who take childcare leave is significantly lower, compared to mothers. While 81.6% of mothers said they took advantage of the leave in a fiscal 2020 government survey, the figure was only 12.65% for fathers.