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Record 72.5% of Japan Male Public Servants Take Paternal Leave in Fiscal 2022

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The National Personnel Authority

The percentage of full-time male public servants who took paternal leave in fiscal 2022 was 72.5%, surpassing 70% for the first time and increasing by 9.7 percentage points from the previous fiscal year, according to a recent announcement by the National Personnel Authority.

“The [paternal leave] system has been publicized widely enough and the work environment has improved, making it easier to take paternal leave,” said an agency official in charge.

The percentage was calculated from the number of male public servants who took paternal leave among those whose children were born in fiscal 2022. The percentage of female public servants taking maternal leave was 99.1%.

Of those who took paternal leave, the ones who did so from two weeks to one month had the largest percentage at 48.6%, followed by those who took leave between one month and three months, at 22.5%. As for female public servants, those who took maternal leave between nine months and 12 months formed the largest group, at 31.2%.

The government has set a goal to raise the percentage men taking paternal leave to 85% by fiscal 2030 including the private sector.

In October last year, the government launched a new paternal leave system for fathers to be able to take up to four weeks of leave from work within the first eight weeks from the birth of their children. The system, called “Sango papa ikukyu” (Postpartum childcare leave for dads), is one of the government’s projects to speed up preparing an environment in which men can take paternal leave more flexibly.