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Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 12:00 - 14:00

Raising Japan’s woeful gender equality to developed-world standards and stemming its falling birthrate. {readmore
Masako Mori
Minister of State for Measures for Declining Birthrate & Gender Equality,
Minister in charge of Support for Women's Empowerment and Child-Rearing
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in Japanese with English interpretation

 You may remember Masako Mori as the junior cabinet minister who shot to national and international attention after she was handed responsibility for one of the most controversial pieces of legislation produced by the Abe government: the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets Act. Her every word and gesture in the Diet was scrutinized in the face of fierce skepticism among opposition lawmakers, much of the media and the public over the necessity and the intention behind such legislation. Mori ploughed on, the Act was passed into law and she appeared at the FCCJ in January to answer the lingering questions around it. Mori now returns to the Club to speak for her main cabinet portfolio – equally closely watched and hotly debated among Abe watchers – bringing Japan’s woeful gender equality to developed-world standards and stemming its falling birthrate.

 Mori, a lawyer by training and a working mother of two school-aged daughters, says she has led her professional life "cursing the world" as she forged her career in a nation mostly unfriendly and sometimes hostile to working women. She says women face not only glass ceilings but "glass stones" which litter female career paths, obstructing promotions and tripping up stable, long-term employment. Her job, Mori says, is to "paint those stones in bright colors so that they are clear for all to see." Backed by her boss Abe's commitment to "womenomics" policies and strong advisors such as Goldman Sachs strategist Kathy Matsui, who coined the term "womenomics" in 1999 and who gave the minister a shout-out of support during her own recent speech at the Club, Mori says she will tackle Japan's gender problem head-on. She laments that Japanese males with children under 6 spend an average of 39 minutes a day on childrearing and says she wants to free the nation from fathers who do not help with the housework and the kids. Good luck, you say? Come and hear why she thinks it's possible, and what the government is prepared to do to get there.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website(still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/members' guest is 1,750/2,700 yen; non-members including guest-members eligible to attend may pay in cash. (Menu:sautéed salmon served with lemon butter.) Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.*Working Pressは1時間、Associate, non-memberは24時間以内のキャンセルはフルチャージとなりますのでご注意ください。なおキャンセルは電話でのみ承ります。

Professional Activities Committee

Jul 16 14 PL Masako Mori014

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