On February 27, 2017, ASPI Vice President Wendy Cutler moderated a discussion on “Womenomics: Progress Made and Challenges Remaining” at an event co-hosted by ASPI and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The program featured the first female-only business delegation to the United States from Keidanren, the Japan Business Federation. The panel was introduced by Matthew Goodman, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy and Senior Adviser for Asian Economics at CSIS.
Haruno Yoshida, Vice Chair of Keidanren's Board of Councilors and President & Representative Director of BT Japan Corporation, made opening remarks addressing Japan’s need for women's empowerment and the challenges it currently faces. She was joined by other female Japanese leaders, including Mitsuru Claire Chino, Executive Officer and General Counsel of ITOCHU Corporation, and Keiko Honda, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) at the World Bank Group.
The panelists discussed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s womenomics initiative, workplace culture in Japan, childcare and parental leave policies, and the benefits of mentorships and sponsorships. While the results of this four-year program have yet to be seen as Japan continues to lag behind other advanced countries in female economic participation and political empowerment, the panelists were optimistic about the future of womenomics and gender equality in Japan. (1 hour, 24 min., 15 sec.)