The Japanese work force is expected to shrink from 60 million to about 40 miliion by 2050 which will necessitate intensive use of all available human resources, but the persistent discrimination against women in Japan hampers efforts to draw upon talents the society will even more need in the coming years. The gap in female power between Japan and Europe was highlighted by the new Spanish Cabinet which is over 50% women while nations like Finland or Norway for years have championed the rights of women in government and business. Japan currently ranks in 54th place in the Gender Empowerment Measure and even falls behind Vietnam and the United Arab Emirate.
In vbirtually all areas of influence,whether business or politics, Japanese women are remarkable by their absence. In the national government bureaucracy, women hold only 1.7 percent of positions rated at section chief or higher as contrasted with 12% holding such positions in European nations. There are few important Japanese female business leaders and the old boys club is alive and well in traditional Japanese values.
As the work force shrinks it will be necessary to shrink prejudice and bigotry against women in Japan or Japan will have to seek the talents of foreigners in order to maintain its importance in the world.