Fourth Periodic Report on Implementation of Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women



1. This is Japan's fourth periodic report submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (hereinafter referred to as "Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women" or "the Convention") which Japan ratified in 1985.

2. Japan submitted its First Periodic Report (CEDAW/C/5/Add.48) in March 1987, which was considered at the seventh session of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in February 1988. Its Second Periodic Report (CEDAW/C/JPN/2) was submitted in February 1992, and the Third Periodic Report (CEDAW/C/JPN/3) was submitted in October 1993, and they were considered collectively at the thirteenth session of the Committee in January 1994.

3. The present report covers developments on the implementation of the Convention in Japan for a period of about four years from the conclusion of the consideration of the third report (January 29, 1994) up to the end of May 1998.

4. Upon drafting the present report, concluding comments of the Committee on the second and third periodic reports were taken into consideration, and consultations with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took place in broader areas than upon the drafting of the third report so that the voices from NGOs could be reflected accordingly in the report. Consultations on the "Items to be incorporated into the Fourth Periodic Report for the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women as for the current situation in Japan" and the "Report on the activities of NGOs, etc. in relation to the Fourth Periodic Report for the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women" were conducted in writing in July 1997 with leading bodies and eminent persons such as from the local government office, ordinance-designated cities and cities with a declaration of gender equality, women's groups as well as various kinds of groups, women members of the Diet, and members of the Council for Gender Equality. Further consultations by the same token were extended in August 1997 mainly toward the general public using the Internet Web Page of the Office for Gender Equality of the Prime Minister's Secretariat which acts as the secretariat responsible for compiling this report. And, in August 26, 1997, the Liaison Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality (Egalite Network) an organization within the National Machinery for the advancement of the status of women in Japan held a hearing on items to be incorporated in this report and directly heard opinions of approximately 110 attendance from NGOs, and others. The results of all these consultations were referred hereto upon compilation of this report.

5. Number of answers and opinions submitted from NGOs amounted to 215 in total (Group: 83, Individual: 132). The Japanese Government tried to take up the items requested by NGOs.

6. As a party to the Convention, the Japanese Government is committed to continuing its efforts to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, and to realize a gender-equal society.


1.Population and vital statistics

In 1996, Japan had a population of approximately 125.86 million, of which 64.18 million were women. Women outnumbered men by 2.49 million, and accounted for 51.0 percent of the total population.

In Japan, it is estimated that an extraordinarily aged society, in which 1 out of 3 Japanese people will be over 65 years old, is to come about by the mid-21st century due to an extension of the average life expectancy and also with the continuation of the trend for families with fewer children. Particularly, women's ratio in the population aged 65 and above was 58.7 percent in 1996, and this percentage is projected to undergo drastic increase towards the 21st century. The average life expectancy as of 1996 was 83.59 years for women and 77.01 years for men, and both women's and men's life expectancies are among the highest in the world. The number of live births in 1996 was approximately 1,207,000 with the birth rate of 9.7 (per 1,000 persons), and both the annual number of live births and the crude birth rate rose from the previous year in terms of the number and ratio as well. Accordingly, the total fertility rate in 1996 (the number of children that would be born to each woman in her lifetime in accordance with the fertility rate of a given period: the sum of the age-specific fertility rates for women aged 15 to 49) was 1.43 falling short of the value of 2.08 that is needed to maintain the present population level through the future. As referred thereto in the previous report, the fall in the birth rate has been brought about by the increasing of women's late-marriage-trend and the rise in the lifetime-unmarried rate. The increase in the feeling of burden in child rearing and the feeling of burden in managing the compatibility with work particularly due to the development of women's advanced role in society and the change in the sense of values toward marriage among both men and women are also pointed out as factors leading to this trend.

In 1996, there were 795,080 marriages with the marriage rate of 6.4 (number of marriages per 1,000 persons), and both the marriage number and marriage rate were equivalent to the ones in the previous year (791,888 marriages with the rate of 6.4 in 1995). The mean age for the first marriage was 26.4 years for women and 28.5 years for men, both of which indicated constant increases.

As for divorce, in 1996, there were 207,000 divorces with the divorce rate of 1.66 (number of divorces per 1,000 persons), and both the number and rate of divorce had increased. The divorce rate in every generation has been rising, and rapid increase in the divorce rate of people especially in their twenties. As for household size, the average number of persons per household is on a downward trend (It turned out to be 2.82 in 1995). Household patterns according to the relations among household members showed that in 1995, 74.1 percent were family households that consisted of a head of the household and his/her relatives, and 25.6 percent were single households; 29.1 percent had a household member aged 65 or above, and the number of such households are consistently increasing.

The maternal mortality rate in 1996 was 6.0 per 100,000 births, indicating a tendency to decrease.

In 1996, there were approximately 3.2 million children/persons with disabilities, of which 1.3 million women and 1.5 million men were under special care at home. The number of mentally handicapped persons in 1995 was approximately 0.41 million, of which 0.12 million were women and 0.17 million were men under special care at home.


In 1997, the advancement rate in high schools was 97.0 percent for girls (94.8 percent for boys), which has been higher than boys' since 1969. The percentage of girls who advance to universities and junior colleges is also increasing annually. In 1997, the rate was 48.9 percent for girls and 45.8 percent for boys, and the girls' rate has been higher than boys' rate since 1989. As for the university advancement rate, in 1997, it was 26.0 percent for girls and 43.4 percent for boys. Although, a gap still exists, it is narrowing compared to the gap in 1992 (17.3 percent for girls and 35.2 percent for boys) as stated in the third periodic report.

The proportion of women taking university courses indicate that the courses where women occupy the majority in 1997 were: home economics (96.5 percent), arts (67.8 percent), humanities (67.4 percent), education (58.3 percent) and others. On the other hand, in those courses where women's enrollment rates had been low, there was an increase as compared to 1992 in social sciences, 23.9 percent (compared to 17.4 percent in 1992), agriculture, 38.6 percent (26.9 percent), science, 25.2 percent (19.8 percent) engineering, 9.0 percent (5.5 percent) and others.

In 1997, there were 8,163 women teaching staff in junior colleges (8,141 in 1992), which accounted for 41.1 percent of the entire teaching staff (38.5 percent in 1992), thus, the number as well as the percentage thereof showed an increasing trend in comparison with the figures in 1992. The number of the women teaching staff in universities was 16,564 (12,380 in 1992), which accounts for 11.7 percent of all university teaching staff (9.6 percent in 1992), thus, both the number as well as the percentage thereof increased in comparison with the 1992 figures.

The employment rate of junior college graduates in 1996 was 66.5 percent for women and 56.1 percent for men, thus, the women's rate was higher than the men's rate. As for the employment rate of university graduates, the men's rate slightly exceeded the women's rate with 67.1 percent for men and 63.5 percent for women. Among graduates, except those who go on to post-graduate courses, the percentage of those who find a job decreased for both men and women after reaching a peak in 1991. As for junior college graduates, the employment rate was 70.5 percent for women and 67.2 percent for men, and in the case of university graduates, 68.3 percent for women and 76.7 percent for men .

Women's enrollment rate in the field of education, especially in the field of higher education, has been on a constant rise since the presentation of the third periodic report as stated above. As for the major field of study, women's enrollment rate in the courses where women's rate used to be low has also been increasing.

In addition, with regard to the educational status of men and women, 62.3 percent of women and 69.1 percent of men consider that the status of men and women are equal in the teaching profession according to a "public opinion survey on gender equality" (carried out by the Prime Minister's Office in July 1995). It is shown that 19.2 percent of women and 32.3 percent of men consider men and women to be equal in the workplace, and 31.5 percent of women and 49.0 percent of men regard themselves as equal in family life. Therefore, educational institutes are places in which one can especially feel a sense of equality.

Although a gap still exists between men and women generally in the field of education, this gap is, nevertheless, gradually narrowing.


he women workforce in 1997 (the sum of the employed and the unemployed) was 27.6 million, indicating an increasing trend, and the composition ratio of women in the total workforce was 40.7 percent. In 1997, the 26.65 million of the women workforce were employed, and 0.95 million were unemployed resulting in an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent (the unemployment rate for the men workforce was 3.4 percent as well).

In addition, the women labour force participation rate rose for the first time in three years up to 50.4 percent, while the men labour force participation rate stood at 77.7 percent (the same rate as the previous year). Women labour force participation rates by age groups formed an M-shaped curve, with the rates for women aged 20 - 24 (73.4 percent) and 45 - 49 (72.2 percent) at the peaks and the rate for women aged 30 - 34 (56.2 percent) at the bottom. The labour force participation rate in every age group had risen shifting the overall M-shaped curve upward except for the fall in the 20 - 24 age group due to the rising enrollment rate for advanced education in comparison with that of 10 years ago (1987). It should be noted that an upward trend thereof in the middle- and old aged- groups of 50 - 54 and 55 - 59 has been growing, besides a substantial rise in the 25 - 29 age group.

Women labour force participation rates by marital status were 61.2 percent for the unmarried group, 51.3 percent for the married group and 31.7 percent for the divorced and/or the widowed group.

The composition of the women workforce by working status was 21.27 million for employees (79.8 percent of the total women workforce), 3.08 million for family workers (11.6 percent likewise), and 2.23 million for self-employed (8.4 percent likewise). While a downward trend in the number of self-employed and family workers' continues, employees keep on increasing, thus, the percentage of employees in the total workforce has been rising year by year.

The percentage of women employees in the total number of employees has been also increasing year after year, and it has reached 39.5 percent in 1997.

The distribution of the women workforce by industry in 1997 was found to comprise 7.37 million (34.6 percent of the women workforce) in the service industry as the largest component hereof, 5.86 million (27.6 percent) in the wholesale/retail business, and restaurants as the second largest component, and 4.51 million (21.2 percent) in manufacturing. And women working in these three industries accounted for 83.4 percent of the women employees. Here is an upward trend of the women workforce in the service industry (where the ratio of women employees is traditionally high) that has been growing prominently, and the presence of women worker has increased even in the wholesale/retail business, and restaurants. On the other hand, the workforce decreased for five consecutive years in the manufacturing industry, and also for two consecutive years in the finance and insurance industry.

The number of women employees by occupation in 1997 was comprised of 7.25 million for clerical workers (34.1 percent of the total women employees), 3.71 million for skilled and other workers engaged in the two major occupation: manufacturing and construction (17.4 percent). Also, the number of professional and technical workers, which stood at 3.26 million (15.3 percent) has increased.

Women's ratios by occupation indicate that the increase of the women's ratio in clerical work is the highest in comparison with the figure in 1987 (10 years ago), showing that women form the majority in clerical work (59.7 percent) and security work/services (53.9 percent), then, professional/technical work (45.2 percent) and labour work (43.1 percent) come thereafter. The percentage of women in managerial work rose, though marginally, from 7.9 percent in 1992 to 9.5 percent in 1997.

In addition, the average length of continuous work of women in 1997 was 8.4 years. Although this is shorter than that of men (13.3 years), it has gone up by 1.0 year compared with 7.4 years in 1992. The composition ratio of women employees aged 35 and above reached 60.1 percent in 1997, reflecting an increase in the number of those reaching the middle and latter stage of their lives. The percentage of married women among women employees has been also increasing and it reached 67.0 percent in 1997.

As for wages, scheduled salaries for women employees were 63.1 percent of their men counterparts, (if part-time workers are not included), in June 1997. This gap between the wages of men and women workers is caused by such miscellaneous factors as length of service, academic background, field of employment, rank at work, working hours and others. If one looks at the wages of ordinary workers (workers who are employed upon graduating from an educational institution and continue to work under the same employer) under the same conditions in terms of length of service, age and academic background, it was found that, among university graduates, women workers aged 20 - 24 make up to 95.1 in comparison with 100 for men workers, and the women workers aged 45-49 where the gap grows widest make up to 81.8 compared to 100 for their men counterparts in 1997.

As for working hours, a women full-time worker's average monthly working hours in the workplace with 30 workers and above in 1997 was 142.9 hours (comprising of 137.0 hours of scheduled working hours and 5.9 hours of overtime). On the other hand, men full-time worker's average monthly working hours per person at the workplace with 30 workers and above was 166.8 hours comprising of 150.7 hours of scheduled working hours and 16.1 hours of overtime work.

The number of women trade union members was 3.46 million in 1997, indicating a marginal decrease from 3.52 million in 1992. Besides, the percentage of women in the total number of trade union members increased marginally from 28.2 percent in 1992 to 28.4 percent.

The number of part-time workers has increased drastically in recent years, and the number of employees whose working hours are less than 35 hours per week (non-agriculture and forestry workers) stood at 11.14 million in 1997. The percentage of women therein was 67.0 percent, and part-time employees' ratio in the total women employees was 35.9 percent. The working situation of part-time workers shows the process of diversification in the field and type of work, as well as the attitude towards work.

4.Women engaged in agriculture, forestry and fisheries

In 1995, 2.86 million women were engaged in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, slightly exceeding the number of men by 2.04 million. As for agriculture, women accounted for 56.7 percent of the total number of persons engaged in this industry with 2.227 million in 1997. With regard to payment for work, 26.7 percent of women engaged in agriculture did not receive remuneration or wages in 1996. The situation as for the participation of women in social activities and decision-making in the local primary industries of agriculture, forestry and fisheries has gradually been improving in recent years, though still at a low level.

5.Results of the public opinion survey on gender equality

According to the public opinion survey on gender equality conducted by the Government in July 1995, to the question asking for the sense of equality for the status of women and men in various fields of the society, it is only in the field of education that more than the majority of both women and men answered that they consider each other as equal (62.3 percent of women, 69.1 percent of men). In other fields, both women and men consider that men are treated better, especially in the realm of society in general (79.8 percent of women, 70.0 percent of men), social norm, custom and tradition (78.7 percent of women, 74.9 percent of men), and political field (71.2 percent of women, 61.6 percent of men). (See Statistical Annex 38)

The Japanese Government conducted a public opinion survey on a gender equality society in September 1997. According to the results of the opinion survey, an absolute majority of the people embrace the idea that it is desirable for women to prioritize family life over work or to keep them equally compatible (45.0 percent for giving priority to family life, 41.2 percent for the compatibility of family life with work), and the majority of them still agree with the idea that "Women should be responsible for household work and child-rearing, though it is good for them to have jobs." (86.4 percent agree thereto), while the majority of them embraces the idea that it is desirable for men to prioritize work to family life (62.4 percent for priority to be given to work). Analyzing by gender, women surpassed men in answering that women should prioritize family life over work or to keep them equally compatible, representing the fact that women themselves feel responsible for managing the family.

On the other hand, in comparison with the results of the public opinion survey on gender equality conducted in November 1992, both men and women answering "agree" to the idea that "Women should focus more on their families, i.e. their husband and children rather than on themselves, once married," decreased. Besides, while answering "agree" to "In general, it would be disadvantageous for a woman to be divorced in today's society," increased, people who responded affirmatively to the idea that "It is better to be divorced, if you are not satisfied with your partner," increased. Thus, there is a drastic and flexible change when it comes to view the family. (See Statistical Annex 39 1), 2), 3))

6.Activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs),etc.

(1) Liaison Group for the Implementation of the Resolutions from the International Women's Year Conference of Japan
Since the International Women's Year in 1975, women's organizations have been vigorously putting forth activities in various fields. Moreover, with the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 many women's organizations and groups were born throughout Japan and are carrying out grass-roots activities nation-wide.

Encouraged by the International Women's Year, 41 organizations took the opportunity to form a liaison organization, the first women's organization on a nation-wide scale. In November 1975, "The International Women's Year Conference of Japan" was held, and resolutions on the formulation of the National Action Plan and other policies related to women were adopted. After that, those organizations formed the "Liaison Group for the Implementation of the Resolutions from the International Women's Year Conference of Japan" (hereinafter referred to as "International Women's Year Liaison Group"), and the group has been active towards the advancement of the status of women. The International Women's Year Liaison Group is composed of 51 organizations as of April 1998.

The International Women's Year Liaison Group held the "Toward the 21st Century - Convention of Japanese Women NGOs" in November 1995 after the Forth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and they adopted the NGO Goals for Action comprising 6 areas. In April 1996, the assembly commemorating the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage was held in collaboration with the "Liaison Committee for the Parliamentary Activities of 7 Women's Organizations" calling for the promotion of women's increased participation in politics.

(2) Other NGO activities
Apart from the above-mentioned NGO's activities, there are many women's organizations and groups including Japanese Association of International Women's Rights that are doing studies on the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and other activities in various parts of Japan. And a new organization, Beijing JAC, was formed in the wake of the participation in the Beijing conference, suggesting a further deepening of interest in the advancement of women among the Japanese NGOs and grass-roots people. In recent years, network-type of organizations on women's issue have been created as the new form of activities, while there is a trend for public and private liaison conference type of organizations on women's issue to be established at prefectural and municipal levels. Furthermore, various opinions and requests have been presented to the Government and local public organizations with regard to measures and activities to create a gender-equal society in line with the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

7.National Machinery for the Promotion of Gender Equality

The headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality that is to handle the comprehensive promotion of a wide variety of measures concerned, and the Council for Gender Equality that is the advisory body to the Prime Minister and other Ministers concerned are playing a key role towards the realization of a gender-equal society. In addition to these, the Liaison Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality which functions as a liaison with various groups and fields of the civil society nation-wide is promoting the creation of a gender-equal society as a national movement. The Cabinet Secretariat, Prime Minister's Office (Office for Gender Equality) and other related administrative organizations in close cooperation with each other are extending secretariat support to the Headquarters, the Council and the Liaison Conference.

National Machinery for the Promotion of Gender Equality is as follows:

As for the transition of the machinery after the consideration of the third periodic report, see Part Two 2.

8.National Plan of Action

In July 1996, The Council for Gender Equality, which was formed by "Cabinet Order for The Council for Gender Equality" (June 24, 1994 Cabinet Order, No. 190), submitted the "Vision for Gender Equality" to the Prime Minister, taking into consideration the various views and opinions of society as well as the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women. The Vision presented the direction and process for the realization of a gender-equal society contemplated by around 2010, taking into account the possible economic and social changes in Japan.

Therefore, upon revision of the "New National Plan of Action towards the Year 2000" (prepared in 1987), which appeared in the third periodic report, the policy indicated in the Vision as well as the outcome and the issue of the First Revision of the New National Plan of Action (1991) were taken into consideration in order to formulate an entirely new National Plan of Action. In December 1996, a National Plan of Action entitled the "Plan for Gender Equality 2000 - the National Plan of Action for the Promotion of a Gender-Equal Society by the Year 2000" was formulated, duly responding to the Beijing Platform for Action (Paragraph 297).

Upon formulation of the plan, attempts were made to take into consideration the viewpoints of various groups and fields of society, referring to 1,100 different opinions and requests presented from various groups and individuals. The plan is constituted with the following 4 basic targets; 1) Building social systems that promote gender equality, 2) Achieving gender equality in the workplace, family, and community, 3) Creating a society where human rights of women are promoted and protected, 4) Contribution to the "Equality, Development and Peace" of the global community, and 11 priority objectives. This time, as new issues such as "Reviewing social systems and practices and reforming awareness from the perspective of gender equality", "Eliminating all forms of violence against women," "Respect for human rights of women in the media," "Supporting lifelong health for women" were adopted as new priority objectives. The Japanese Government is now striving to promote various measures for the creation of a gender equal society in accordance with this plan.

9.Examples of activities by local public organizations

Active administrations related to gender equality have been proceeding in local public organizations as well. Action plans to promote measures for gender equality have been formulated in all 47 prefectures and 12 ordinance-designated cities by establishing departments and/or divisions (offices) for planning and coordination of the measures for gender equality (as of April 1997). The formulation ratio of the action plan conducted by municipal organizations (excluding the ordinance-designated cities) is 382 out of 3,243 municipal organizations (11.8 percent).

10.Major amendments to laws and ordinances

A summary of the major amendments to laws and ordinances carried out during the period relevant to the report is shown as below, and the details will be provided under each particular article in Part Two.

(1) Law concerning partial amendments to the Child Allowance Law
This is intended for the collection of donations from business proprietors to be appropriated for the cost newly required for a child nurture project in addition to donations from business proprietors to be appropriated for part of the cost required for cash provision of the child allowance so as to secure the fund required for the expansion of various supporting services for child-rearing, and was put into force on April 1, 1994.

(2) Law concerning Working Hours and Leave etc. for National Public Employees in the Regular Service (promulgated on June 15, 1994)
The law concerning Working Hours and Leave etc. for National Public Employees in the Regular Service intended for specifying the principle of the 40-hour work-week system and enactment of a family care system, etc. was put into effect in September 1994.

(3) Cabinet order on the Council for Gender Equality (promulgated and enforced on June 24, 1994)
Upon the Prime Minister's request for advice, the Council for Gender Equality was mandated to present to the Prime Minister views on the formation of a gender-equal society following investigation and deliberation on the fundamental and comprehensive aspects for the formation. The Council was established with a limited term until March 31, 1997.

(See Part Two 2. Article 3 )

(4) Cabinet order concerning partial amendment to the ordinance on organization of the Prime Minister's Office (promulgated and enforced on June 24, 1994)

Setting up of the Office for Gender Equality in the Cabinet Secretariat, the duties thereof, and establishment of the Council for Gender Equality in the Prime Minister's Office was stipulated.

(See Part Two 2. Article 3 )

(5) Law concerning partial amendment to the Employment Insurance Law, etc. (promulgated on June 29, 1994)
The provision of child care leave benefits was stipulated to secure the continuation of employment for those employees who take child care leave as the child care leave system became compulsory. This law was enforced on April 1, 1995.

(6) Law concerning partial amendment to the Child Care Leave Law (promulgated on June 9, 1995)
This law intended to incorporate into the existing "Child Care Leave Law" new elements which are measures for the family care leave system or family care such as the reduction of working hours, as well as measures on the support extended by the Government, etc. to workers engaged in the child care or family care. This has been enforced, with the exception of part of the law, since October 1, 1995. (All of the law will be in effect as of April 1, 1999.)

(See Part Two 10. Article 11. 2 (c) )

(7) Law concerning partial amendment to the Foreign Service Personnel Law (promulgated on May 9, 1996)
The amendment was provided to stipulate the disqualification criteria for the foreign service officials.

(See Part Two 8. Article 9 )

(8) Law concerning partial amendment to the Eugenic Protection Law (promulgated on June 26, 1996)
In view of discriminatory expressions against persons with disabilities in some sections of the Law based on the eugenic idea that stands for the prevention of dysgenic posterity births, stipulations based on the eugenic idea were deleted from the provisions on abortion, etc., and the Law was converted into the Maternal Protection Law, enforced on September 26, 1996.

(See Part Two 11. Article 12 )

(9) Law concerning establishment of the Council for Gender Equality (promulgated on March 26, 1997)
The Council for Gender Equality was established in the Prime Minister's Office as an organization to investigate and deliberate the fundamental and comprehensive policy and important subjects with regard to promoting the formation of a gender-equal society, in compliance with the request for advice by the Prime Minister or Ministers concerned so as to contribute to promote the formation of a gender-equal society. This law was enforced on April 1, 1997.

(See Part Two 2. Article 3 )

(10) Law concerning partial amendment to the Child Welfare Law (promulgated on June 11, 1997)
In view of the increasing trend of families with fewer children, a generalized trend of dual-income families with a working husband and wife, as well as changes in the environment surrounding children and families such as lower functioning of child-rearing in the family and the community, restructuring of the child and family welfare system have been made. The amendment was made to support the sound nurturing and independence of children who are responsible for the next generation and to facilitate a better environment in which to rear children. This law was enforced on April 1, 1998.

(See Part Two 10. Article 11. 2 (c) )

(11) Law concerning partial amendment to the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, etc. (promulgated on June 18, 1997)
Reinforcement of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, deregulation on overtime work, holiday work and late-night work by women, fulfillment of measures for the protection of mothers, etc. are incorporated therein, and this law is to be enforced on April 1, 1999 (Part of the Law was enforced).

(See Part Two 10. Article 11. (a) -(c), (f))

(12) Law concerning partial amendment to the Employment Insurance Law, etc. (promulgated on March 31, 1998)
The provision of family care leave benefits was stipulated to secure the continuation of employment for those employees who take family care leave as the family care leave system will become compulsory. This law is to be enforced on April 1, 1999.

(13) Law concerning regulation, rationalization of work, etc. of entertainment-related establishments, etc. (promulgated on May 8, 1998)
This law includes provisions to prevent prostitution, regulation on the sex industry when prostitution is conducted off the premises, etc. This law will be enforced within one year (part of it will be within six months) after it is promulgated, with the date to be decided by government ordinance.

(See Part Two 1. Article 2. (a), 5.Article 6 )

PART TWO: Report by Article

1. Article 2

(1) Violence against women
Under this Article, information is provided focusing on the measures applied in Japan on violence committed against women and the relief for victimized women.

1) Sexual crime
(i) Legislation and measures
As for infringements of women's sexual freedom, penal provisions, such as indecent assault (Article 176 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not less than six months and not exceeding seven years), rape (Article 177 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not less than two years), and rape resulting in injury (Article 181 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor for life or of not less than three years) are prescribed and have been appropriately enforced.

(ii) Current situation regarding rape and indecent assault
The number of reported cases of rape in 1996 declined to 1,483, one-fourth of the 6,393 cases reported in 1967. This transition indicated a continued downward trend from 1967 to 1990, and stabilized to more or less 1,500 from 1990 onward. The number of reported cases of indecent assault in 1996 was 4,025, indicating an increase of 20 percent in comparison with 3,416 cases in 1967. This transition indicated that the downward trend continued until 1986, and the subsequent upward trend started from 1987. 1996 resulted in an increase of 10 percent in comparison with the previous year.

(iii) Appropriate measures to deal with victims of sexual crime
In order to eradicate all forms of violence against women, the enforcement of thorough control over sexual crimes such as rape and indecent assault has been propelled with strict application of the penal code concerned.

As a sexual crime is a crime that inflicts substantial psychological trauma on the victim as well as physical damage, there exists a propensity for the victim to hesitate reporting the crime to the police due to the sense of shame, which can give rise to latent damages.

Thus, since 1996, in order to promote more pertinent and more effective investigations into sexual crime besides striving to alleviate the mental burden of the victim using appropriate measures in consideration of the victim's position, "instructors on sexual-crimes investigation methods" and a "sexual-crimes investigation unit" were set up at the headquarters of each prefectural police force. Measures were also taken to alleviate the victim's mental burden such as investigation interviews, identification activities, and attendance to a hospital by a policewoman and improvement of the counseling system by expert officers. Furthermore, even at the trial stage, public prosecutors undertake to protect victimized women by means of making objections to inappropriate questions, while creating an environment to facilitate the victimized women's testimonies by requesting the court to suspend the public trial and to order designated spectators and defendants to leave the courtroom.

(iv) Measures to prevent damages from being kept latent
Support for the victimized women has been taken by providing appropriate information such as the delivery of brochures giving explanations of criminal procedure and various relief systems in plain terms, pertinent intimation of the investigation process and proceeding situation of the suspect and also by responding accurately to inquiries from the victim, while providing a consultant for the sexual crime such as an "the Sex Crime Hotlines" installed in each prefectural police force. When the civil liberties organs of the Ministry of Justice obtain the information, through human rights consultation service or from the woman victim herself that suffered a violent act, these organs investigate the case and, in case they recognize the fact of the infringement of her rights, they give special education to the perpetrator about the respect of human rights, while making him discontinue such act of violence and preventing its recurrence in an effort to protect the victim.

Among all other steps to promote relief measures, there has been introduced, since July 1996, a new system called "System of Commissioners for Human Rights Mediation" as a means of practical relief of those victims whose rights have been infringed upon.

2) Sexual Harassment
As for acts of sexual harassment that are regarded as a violation of women's sexual freedom, penal provisions for sexual violence against women as mentioned above have been appropriately enforced. As for other forms of sexual harassment, it is possible to apply penal provisions, such as battery (Article 208 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than ¥300,000 or penal detention or a minor fine), intimidation (Article 222 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than ¥300,000), compulsion (Article 223 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not more than 3 years), defamation (Item 1 of Article 230 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with or without labor of not more than 3 years or a fine of not more than ¥500,000) and insult (Article 231 of the Penal Code: penal detention or a minor fine) in accordance with the type of each case, and these penal provisions have been appropriately enforced.

When the police are consulted on sexual harassment through their counselor for sexual crime, etc., they proceed to an arrest of the assailant who turns out to have violated the criminal code by taking an accurate application of these penal provisions concerned. And even in otherwise cases, efforts to respond to the victim's needs are made, such as introducing the authority or organization concerned with the purpose of supporting victims, etc. according to her requirements.

In addition, the civil liberties organs of the Ministry of Justice are endeavoring to raise people's consciousness that sexual harassment is an infringement of human rights and propel measures on this problem through human rights consultation service or investigation and settlement of the cases involving infringements of human rights.

In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of sexual harassment even in educational organizations. And while there is an increasing number of universities furnishing themselves with guidelines and counselors, private organizations are forming networks to tackle these issues through information exchange and preventive measures.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is taken up in Article 11.

3) Respect for human rights in the media
(i) Legislation on sexual or violent expression
As to sexual or violent expression, it is possible to apply the prefectural ordinances concerning the protection and fostering of young persons (so-called Youth Protection Ordinance) beside provisions for crimes of public indecency (Article 174 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not more than 6 months or a fine of not more than ¥300,000 or penal detention or a minor fine, and distribution of obscene material (Article 175 of the Penal Code: imprisonment with labor of not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than ¥2,500,000 or a minor fine) according to the type of each case, and these penal provisions have been appropriately enforced.

(ii) Current situation regarding the control of publications with expression of sexual violence
Cases charged with distribution of obscene material in the last 5 years are as shown in Statistical Annex No. 44, indicating a transition of more or less the same level in recent years.

With regard to the charge for the distribution of obscene material, the criminal offense of selling obscene videotapes has constituted a major part of the cases. However, new forms of criminal offenses such as transmitting obscene images to an unspecified number of people in the general public using communications services for personal computers and the Internet and sales of CD-ROMs, etc. on which obscene images are recorded are increasing.

The situation regarding the cases charged with the distribution of obscene material using a computer network such as the Internet in the last 4 years is shown in Statistical Annex 45.

(iii) Protection of juveniles
Since images portraying sex and violence may have a bad influence on the sound nurturing of juveniles, books and videos that include images of sex and violence are designated as "Harmful Books" by the Youth Protection Ordinance which is enacted in 46 prefectures all over Japan, and under which provision for punishment for the sales of the books is included. The Government is clamping down on unscrupulous traders of books designated as harmful, while working to promote self-principled measures to be taken by the concerned industry by requesting them to distinctly classify the books in collaboration with the organizations concerned and local residents. Also, the Government is conducting investigation studies on the actual situation as well as on how this issue is addressed in other countries so as to contribute to the further promotion of these measures.

(iv) Child pornography
As for regulation on child pornography, strict law enforcement has been executed on illegal cases, taking into account that becoming the subjects of the photography may have a harmful influence on the subsequent sound nurturing of the girls, and also is the violation of their human rights.

(v) Measures by the Media
"Conference on Multi-channel-Age Audience and Broadcasters", as to the influences that television broadcasting might have on minors and the consequent countermeasures to be taken, reported that the function which automatically controls the audience on a temporary basis(Parental-Lock Function) would be beneficial.

In satellite digital broadcasting, which commenced in June 1996, the service of the parental-lock function was voluntarily introduced, and 8 companies started to provide the service.

In addition to this, a study was made on how the policy for viewers should be in 1998, and further consideration is being given to the measures for the policy on viewers. In satellite digital broadcasting, business entities who broadcast adult programs containing images of sex and violence voluntarily formulated guidelines for their ethical rules, and established the "Ethical Committee for Communication Satellite Programs" in September 1996 with a view to abiding by the provisions and standards stipulated.

Also, with regard to the distribution of information on the Internet, a study group from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications issued a report entitled "Rules of information distribution on the Internet" in December 1997. The report stated what the rules should be for the distribution of illegal and harmful information on the Internet through such ways as applying existing laws and voluntary measures taken by providers.

As for measures taken by private organizations, on February 16, 1998, the Telecom Service Association, an organization of communications business entities including Internet providers, issued a "Guideline for Codes of Practice for Internet Service Providers" with the support of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, following various consideration in the form of voluntary regulations or guidelines.

Furthermore, as for the movies, the Film Ethics Regulatory Committee (organization for self-imposed control established by the Japanese movie industry in 1956 which is run by the third party), with the objectives of strictly controlling the supply of movies which may be detrimental to people's sense of ethics, examines and makes judgments in accordance with the Film Ethics Regulations formulated in August 1959, and revised in May 1994, and May 1998 respectively. For those movies that are not suitable for minors, (under 18 years of age) designation, depending on the level, for limited entrance is implemented in such ways as "PG-12" (accompany by guardian desirable for under 12 years of age), "R-15" (no-entry for under 15 years of age), "R-18" (no-entry for under 18 years of age).

4) Regulations on adult entertainment businesses (implemented after the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses was amended)
The Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses requires all adult amusement and entertainment businesses, including the so-called private-room video shops and adult entertainment shops, to report the outset of business to the authorities, and to observe the rules concerning youth protection, where those businesses are prohibited from employing minors and are required not to allow children to use their service or even enter such shops. It is ruled that those who violate the Law are subject to punitive measures including the suspension of the business license.

Also, the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses was partially amended in April 1998, to add new regulations on cyberspace businesses that provide sexually stimulative visual images including obscene acts and nudity over the Internet or computer networks (by which the businesses must not allow teenagers under 18 years of age to use their service, and are also prohibited from conducting certain styles of advertising activities on the street).

(2) The issue known as "wartime comfort women"
Although the issue known as "wartime comfort women" has no direct bearing on the Article concerned herewith, paying attention to the concluding comments of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on the combined second and third periodic reports of Japan, as well as the consideration at the thirteenth session of the Committee held in January 1994, a description of the measures taken by the Japanese Government to this issue shall be given herein as follows.

The Japanese Government has been conducting a thorough fact-finding study on the issue known as "wartime comfort women" since December 1991 and announced its results in July 1992 and in August 1993. Public documents found as a result of such study are now open to the public. After the announcement of the result of the study, the Japanese Government has expressed its sincere apologies and remorse to the former "wartime comfort women" on many occasions. The Government of Japan, provided its support for the establishment of the "Asian Women's Fund" (hereinafter referred to as the "AWF"), with a view to fulfilling its moral responsibility, and has been providing all possible assistance for the AWF including bearing the whole operational costs of the AWF, assisting in its fund-raising.

(i) Letter from the Prime Minister of Japan
On behalf of the Government, the Prime Minister sends a letter expressing apologies and remorse directly to the former "wartime comfort women" together with the atonement money which is donated by the Japanese people to the AWF.

(ii) Atonement from the Japanese People
The Japanese Government has been making great efforts to raise pubic awareness and gain a better understanding on the issue known as "wartime comfort women." The Government has provided all possible assistance to the AWF in its fund-raising from the public to express atonement to the former "wartime comfort women."

As a result, a wide range of people including individuals, enterprises, labor unions, political parties, Diet members and Cabinet Ministers have shown their support for the aims of the AWF. As of May 1998, more than 483 million yen has been contributed to the AWF, and the amount of contribution still keeps on growing.

As a result, a wide range of people including individuals, enterprises, labor unions, political parties, Diet members and Cabinet Ministers have shown their support for the aims of the AWF. As of May 1998, more than 483 million yen has been contributed to the AWF, and the amount of contribution still keeps on growing.

Together with the atonement money and a letter from the president of the AWF, and messages from the Japanese contributors are also to be conveyed to each victim.

(iii) Medical and Welfare Support Projects to be funded with the Governmental Resources
In order to meet its moral responsibility, the Japanese Government has decided to disburse about 700 million yen from the national budget for the medical and welfare projects of the AWF to the former "wartime comfort women" in the Republic of Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan over a 5-year period (such plans as (i) improvement of housing, (ii) nursing services, and (iii) assistance in the provision of medical service and medicines are being carried out with the actual circumstances of each of the former "wartime comfort women" being taken fully into account). These projects are implemented in addition to the above-mentioned "Atonement from the Japanese people."

(iv) Project in Indonesia
In Indonesia, the AWF has decided to support the project proposed by the Indonesian Government, which is called the "Promotion of Social Welfare Services for Elderly People in Indonesia," and has been implementing it making use of the fund disbursed by the Japanese Government . In this project, new facilities will be built for the elderly who have no family or relatives to look after them and are unable to work due to illness or physical handicaps. In entering these facilities, priority will be given to those who proclaim themselves as former "wartime comfort women" and facilities will be established mainly in the regions where former "wartime comfort women" are thought to live.

(v) Efforts to Address Contemporary Issues Concerning the Honor and Dignity of Women
The Japanese Government considers that it is its responsibility toward the future to address contemporary issues on women, such as violence against women. The Japanese Government is providing financial contributions to the AWF for its activities toward the solution of such contemporary women's issues.

Examples of these activities are as follows: organizing international fora; supporting the activities of other NGOs; research and fact-finding projects.

(vi) Programs Underscoring the Lessons of History
The AWF recognizes its importance that the facts in this issue should be accurately conveyed to the future generations as a lesson of history in order to ensure that such an issue never arises again. As a pillar of its activities, the AWF set up a sub-committee of historians, other experts and members of the AWF Secretariat to collate and publish documents and materials relating to the issue called "wartime comfort women."

(vii) Efforts in the Field of Education
The Japanese Government attaches great importance to school education, through which young people, who will lead the next generation, correctly understand the facts of modern Japanese history including the issue known as "wartime comfort women." Now junior high and high school textbooks have references to this issue.

(3) Examination on Ombudsperson

The report referred to above in 8 of Part One "Vision for Gender Equality" proposed that "Studies should be carried out on an ombudsperson to settle problems concerning gender equality as a new function in the national machinery", which was incorporated into the National Plan of Action: "Plan for Gender Equality 2000" as "study and research the possibility of introducing ombudsperson into Japan who resolve problems concerning gender equality, making reference to related activities and legal systems in other countries."

2 Article 3

The summary of the present organization of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality in Japan was provided in 7 of Part One of this report, and here, Japan's efforts to enrich the organization are reported for the period since the discussion of the third periodic report.

(1) Reinforcement of the National Machinery

1)System of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality

In Japan, the Headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality was established in July 1994 for smooth and effective promotion of measures towards the formulation of a gender-equal society. The headquarters, having the Prime Minister and the Chief Cabinet Secretary as the President and the Vice president of the Headquarters respectively, is formed by all the cabinet ministers. The headquarters transformed itself from the Headquarters for the Planning and Promoting of Policies Relating to Women, which was originally placed in the Prime Minister's Office, and was placed in the cabinet, at the same time upgrading the members from vice ministers to cabinet ministers. Also, the Office for Gender Equality was established in the Prime Minister's Office in June 1994. In addition, in the 2nd reshuffled Cabinet led by Mr. Hashimoto, which was inaugurated in September 1997, the Minister for Women's Affairs was replaced by the Minister for Gender Equality to which Mr. Kenzo Muraoka, the Chief Cabinet Secretary, was appointed.

2)Council for Gender Equality

In June 1994, in accordance with the ordinance concerned, the Council for Gender Equality was established, which assumes the responsibility of investigating and deliberating fundamental and comprehensive subjects in relation to the creation of a gender-equal society according to the Prime Minister's request for advice and to submit its opinions on the particulars of the request for advise inquired by the Prime Minister. Though this council was with a time limit until March 31, 1997, the Law concerning the Council for Gender Equality was issued in March 1997, and the Council for Gender Equality without a time limit was established in accordance with the law. The council can investigate and deliberate fundamental and comprehensive policies and important items related to promoting the creation of a gender-equal society and also can present its opinions to the Prime Minister and Ministers concerned on the particulars related to the request for advice. Request for advice inquired by the Prime Minister are two issues: (1) Basic issues related to policies for promotion of the achievement of a gender-equal society (2) Basic policies to ensure a proper response to the changing situation brought about by people's awareness and internationalization in regard to prostitution and other forms of violence against women which impede the achievement of a gender-equal society. In response, a "Committee on Basic Issues" and "Committee on Violence against Women" have been set up and are proceeding in investigation and deliberation. Committee on Basic Issues is investigating and discussing the basic legislation regarding promotional measures to realize a gender-equal society. For this council, it is stipulated by law that the aggregate number, either, by men members or women members shall not be under four tenths of the total number of council members (25), and 60 percent of the council members are women at present.

3)Liaison Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality

In August 1996, the Liaison Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality was inaugurated with the objectives to promote information exchange and ideas and to liaise widely with people in various fields of society, in order to promote the creation of a gender-equal society on a nation-wide level. The Conference is composed of 13 eminent persons designated by the Chief Cabinet Secretary and 67 persons representing various organizations such as women's organizations, financial circles, educational circles and the media. The Planning Committee of the Conference held a meeting on August 26, 1997 to directly hear the opinions on elements to be incorporated in the present report from a wide range of sources such as NGOs. Liaison with NGOs is also promoted in such a way as reporting on every Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at the Conference

. 4)Final Report of the Administrative Reform Council

In November 1996, in order to investigate and deliberate on the fundamental and comprehensive particulars related to the promotion, reorganization and integration of the national organizations, and to address the complicated and wide range of administrative problems with flexibility and accuracy, the Administrative Reform Council was established. According to the final report submitted by the Council in December 1997, the function related to the promotion of gender equality was placed in the Cabinet office that is to be newly established. The Conference for the Gender Equality chaired by the Chief Cabinet Secretary is to be provided in the Cabinet office, replacing the present Council for Gender Equality. This is a machinery to execute investigation and monitor the progress on measures adopted as well as to present the necessary opinions of its own. In addition, the section that deals with the comprehensive coordination of various measures related to gender equality in the coordination department of the Cabinet office is to be the secretariat for the conference. This section was stipulated to be in charge of the comprehensive coordination and other secretariat work beside its function as a secretariat to the conference. As for enrichment of and improvement to the national machinery, numbers of requests and signatures have been provided from various organizations, etc.

(2) Enrichment of measures in local public organizations

In Japan, the so-called "Women's Centers", comprehensive institutions that provide information to women, space for voluntary activities for women's groups and organizations, provide counseling and investigation studies, etc. are set up at 39 locations throughout the country by prefectures and ordinance-designated cities as of September 1997, functioning as a base for activities of regional women's organizations.

(3) Measures for women with disabilities
1)Formulation of the Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities

In March 1993, the Japanese Government formulated the "New Long Term Program for Government Measures for Disabled Persons" in cooperation with the "Decade of Asian-Pacific Disabled Persons" by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Afterwards, in December 1995, the Government formulated the "Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities - A 7-Year Normalization Strategy" as an implementation plan for important measures to proceed with the realization of the plan. The "Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities" is a 7-year plan covering FY 1996 to FY 2002 incorporating concrete targets for the measures such as setting the mode of the numerical targets, and with this, comprehensive measures for women with disabilities as well as for men are promoted with the aim to creating a society in which every individual can actively participate.

As the concrete measures adopted, government authorities are working toward the achievement of the targets within the planned period by setting numerical targets in various fields such as, securing residence; group homes, welfare homes, securing work; sheltered workshops, welfare factories, designation of employment support centers for people with disabilities, enrichment of family care services; at-home services such as home helpers/short home stay service, etc., institutional service such as institutions for disabled persons.

In addition, staged installation and upgrading measures intended for a barrier-free society such as wider sidewalks and elevators at train stations are proceeding with concrete targets in numbers, and the follow-up work to the progress is carried out regularly.

In May 1995, the Government set a guideline to the prefectural and municipal entities, the administrative bodies which are more familiar to the residents, to formulate a basic plan on measures for persons with disabilities. These local public organizations are actively promoting the measures for persons with disabilities based on the plan.

2)Disabled Person's Week

The week between December 3 to 9 has been designated as "Disabled Person's Week" since FY 1995, as the week to campaign for the willingness of both men and women with disabilities to be independent and to participate in society, as well as for an increased level of understanding and recognition by the nation as a whole with regard to the problems of disabled people.

(4) Measures for elderly women

The share of women among the elderly is higher compared to men, therefore women are more affected by the issues confronting the elderly. With the advent of a full-scale aging society forthcoming at the beginning of the 21st century, it is of paramount importance for Japan to build an environment in which the elderly can live in health, in economic independence, and with fulfilled life as a member of the society. Hence, as a guideline for fundamental and comprehensive measures to be proceeded by the Government to deal with the aging society in line with the provisions of the Basic Law on Measures for the Aging Society enacted in 1995, the General Principles Concerning Measures for the Aging Society were established. Under these, measures to deal with the aging society in various fields of working and income, health and welfare, learning and social involvement, living environment, promoting research are formulated and are presently being carried out.

1)Establishment of a long-term care insurance system

In December 1997, the law concerning long-term care insurance was approved to address the needs of establishing a system to support the long-term care socially due to the increasing number of elderly people. And after the subsequent preparatory period, the system will be introduced from April 2000 onward. With this system, bed-ridden elderly persons or elderly persons with senile dementia over 65 years old and people from 40 to 64 years of age in need of long-term care due to diseases caused by aging will be provided with long-term care services covering both at-home and institutional care. As for the use of services, 10 percent of the principal expenses, that would be covered by the insurance, are to be borne by the user. And, in case of the institutional service, food expenses will also be borne by the users.

From now on, towards the implementation of the system from FY 2000, while continuing to promote the maintenance of a basis for the long-term care service in line with the New Gold Plan and in order for the municipalities and the insurer to manage the system smoothly, various aspects are being considered; approval system for those in need of care, national basic policy for the formulation of a long-term care insurance operational plan and details of a clerical management system in consultation with the Council for Medial Insurance and Welfare.

As for cash payment for the family care benefit, due to the concern that it may not necessarily be contributing to the appropriate care, and rather, that there is the fear that family care could be fixed to restrict women engaged in family care work, and that expansion of the long-term care services might rather be restricted with the cash payment, it is decided not to apply to the long-term care insurance system for the time being.

3. Article 4

(1) Appointment of women as members of national advisory councils and committees
As reported in the third periodic report, the target ratio of 15 percent of women members as national advisory council and committees was set to be achieved by approximately 1995, and after serious efforts were made in this area, this ratio rose to 15.5 percent by the end of March 1996 (the end of FY 1995), thus, achieving the target.

Then, in May 1996, the Headquarters for the Promotion of Gender Equality set the new target at the internationally recognized target level of 30 percent in approximately 10 years time, and for the time being, at 20 percent by the earliest possible time before the end of FY 2000. At present, continuous efforts are being made to achieve these new targets. The ratio of women as of the end of September 1997 was 17.4 percent.

(2) Request for cooperation in the appointment of women in advisory bodies of local public organizations
Prefectural governments and designated cities are also making efforts to promote women in their advisory bodies and committees by setting target ratios and dates for achievement.

The ratio of women in advisory bodies provided by law is 12.8 percent as of June 1, 1996.

(3) Measures to promote the use of women workers' abilities and skills (Positive Action)
1) Promotion of the Positive Action
In FY 1996, the Ministry of Labour held a study group on promoting the use of women workers' abilities and skills. The group compiled "Guideline regarding voluntary measures by business proprietors to promote the use of women workers' abilities and skills" which indicate the idea and give examples of concrete methods as reference for business proprietors to promote the demonstration of the abilities of women employees and to actively utilize them. Business proprietors are urged to take measures to both utilize the Guideline and further understand the importance of taking positive action. The revision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law was issued in June 1997 to set the new provisions for government to support and consult those business proprietors which promote positive action.

2) Support for women entrepreneurs
In FY 1996, the Ministry of Labour conducted a study group to examine the measures to systematically provide assistance to those women who wish to be entrepreneurs in the future by grasping the needs of women planning to be entrepreneurs and problems confronted by women entrepreneurs. Based on the outcome of the study group, a manual for women entrepreneurs was compiled and measures to assist women entrepreneurs are promoted.

4. Article 5

(1) Publicity and enlightenment activities for the correction of stereotyped notions for gender roles
The Japanese Government disseminates information on its national measures to promote gender equality at home and abroad by ways of a Web Page and the Internet since October 1996, in addition to various publicity in newspapers, magazines, television and radio broadcasting, etc. aimed to improve the status of women and to achieve a gender equal society.

The Government, in its effort to create a gender-equal society, holds the "National Conference toward the Creation of a Gender-Equal Society" to acquire further appreciation and cooperation from Japanese nationals, the "Regional Conference for the Promotion of Gender Equality" to develop the atmosphere of further promoting various activities in the local communities, and "Program to Encourage Cities to Declare Gender Equality" that encourage "Cities with Declarations on Gender Equality". Furthermore, the Japanese Government plans to formulate guidelines for expressions to improve publications issued by public organizations from the standpoint of gender equality.

Some local public organizations have already set such guidelines and are actively addressing the issue. From FY 1998, Conference for Young Women Leaders for those who have already begun to play active roles in the communities will be held in order to facilitate the penetration of gender equality into the local communities.

Furthermore, a week from the 4th through the 10th of December has been named "Human Rights Week" every year since 1949 with a view to enhance people's consciousness of human rights with the cooperation of relevant agencies and organizations.

During this week, the Regional Legal Affairs Bureaus, the District Legal Affairs Bureaus and Civil Liberties Commissioners throughout the country (13,806, as of January 1, 1998) engage in intensive public information and enlightenment activities. Since 1975, in particular, a slogan entitled "Let's raise the status of women" has been adopted as one of the it





5. Article 6

(1) Current situation of prostitution
1) Actual situation of identification of crimes related to prostitution, and relevant laws
In Japan, there are several applicable laws for crimes related to prostitution, such as the Anti-Prostitution Law, the Child Welfare Law, the Penal Code and the prefectural Youth Protection Ordinances, and these penal provisions have been appropriately enforced.

The situation of identified cases of crimes related to prostitution in the last 5 years is as shown in the Statistics 50, which can be observed as indicating a more or less downward trend despite some fluctuations. The situation of identified cases in violation of the Anti-prostitution Law also shows a similar tendency. In terms of numbers of cases, procuration is the most frequent reason for identification, followed by contract and solicitation. While, in terms of the number of identified persons, procuration is indicated as the most frequent reason, followed by solicitation and contract. These three modes of crimes represent an overwhelming majority, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total cases in violation of the Anti-Prostitution Law.

In all crimes of prostitution, procuration and contract, which are often incidental to the so-called "dating clubs (escort service)", represent a substantial portion. Therefore, it can be said that a dispatch-type prostitution service, a type as providing a prostitute upon request made of the customer, represents the most popular form of prostitution in Japan. It is also noticeable that criminal techniques for dispatch-type prostitution are becoming more unscrupulous and dexterous, such as seeking clients openly by means of sticking leaflets soliciting prostitution onto public telephone booths and using the call-forward phone and cellular phone for communication with clients.

Among these criminal cases of prostitution, cases in which organized crime groups are involved continue to share a certain portion. The ratio of members of organized crime groups to the number of offenders identified in violation of the Anti-Prostitution Law in 1996 was 18.5 percent (264 offenders), which indicates the fact that the prostitution business is a source of income for organized crime groups.

The Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses was partially amended in April 1998, to prevent prostitution offence in entertainment business, to make illegal employment offence as grounds of incompetence for appointment as entertainment business, and to prevent entertainment business owners of restaurants and customers reception business or those so caller "brokers" to have their employee in reception service owe large debt or to keep their passport in custody.

2) Sex education and advocacy activities
In school education, efforts have been made aiming at further improving sex education, mainly through such subjects as physical education, health and physical education, science, home economics, moral education and special activities, so that pupils and students will acquire scientific knowledge on sex according to their developmental stages, understand the importance of life, have healthy views on the other sex based on the spirit of respecting human rights and gender equality, and be able to behave in the appropriate manner. Various measures have been propelled by way of making out guidance materials for teachers and holding various seminars.

In addition, the following activities have been conducted as a part of social education. Classes for education at home, that are held by various municipal authorities for parents, provide information for sex education at home and teach participants correct knowledge on sex. On the other hand, subjects concerning reproductive health rights such as matters related to pregnancy and birth are coming to be taken up in a class designed for newly married couples without children and couples during pregnancy.

3) Prostitution by non-Japanese women
The situation of non-Japanese women involved in criminal offenses relevant to prostitution classified by nationality and working places in the last five years is shown in the Statistical Annex 52. Many of these women have entered Japan with the status of residence "Temporary Visitor" or "Entertainer", worked at adult entertainment businesses including bars and nightclubs, and engaged in prostitution under the illegal situation of overstaying. Recently, this situation seems to be spreading into local cities, and a background of which is pointed out to be the existence of brokers engaged in the supply of non-Japanese women, and organized crime groups and unscrupulous employers who receive the supply of those women. In the most wicked of cases, women have been brought into Japan by being cheated and owed huge amounts of borrowings to such brokers, and forced to be engaged in prostitution or into menial work while the women's pay is unreasonably reduced by the brokers.

In response to this situation, a nation-wide investigation into the actual situation of foreign entertainers' workplaces (foreigners who have entered Japan with the status of entertainer) and their activities was conducted and as a result of this, illegal activities of foreign entertainers such as "hostess" services were found. In order to remedy the situation surrounding the activities of foreign entertainers and to prevent employers from infringing the human rights of these entertainers, the ordinance of the Ministry of Justice was partly revised (Enforced on September 3, 1996) to ensure that the employment of foreign entertainers will be permitted only when, if the facilities concerned are so-called adult entertainment service businesses, it secures not less than 5 persons who are to be engaged in "hostess" service, and only when it is regarded that the foreign entertainers will not be engaged in "accompanying" service. In addition, the reasons for disqualification for employing foreign entertainers are clearly defined regarding inviting organization, managers and full - time working staff members of facilitation for performance.

As states in 5. Article 6, (1) 1) above, the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses was partially amended to prevent prostitution by non-Japanese women.

4) Purchase of juvenile prostitution
Because an act of purchase of juvenile prostitution is an act that significantly hampers the sound development of girls and is the violation of their human rights, efforts have been extended to enforce the control by utilizing the current laws and ordinances to the maximum extent. Besides, in order to realize a society in which the purchase of juvenile prostitution will not be allowed, activities of publicity and advocacy intended for the protection of juvenile rights are actively carried out by collaboration between the relevant organizations. On the other hand, in order to prevent the cases from being latent, we are striving to establish an environment and system that will ensure that the girls feel neither afraid nor intimidated when consulting with or reporting to the police. A system by which expert staff will provide continuous support including a counseling service are also being arranged with the intent of facilitating alleviation of the mental damage of victimized girls to ensure an early recovery.

Also, so called "Youth Protection Ordinance" enacted in all local governments except Nagano prefecture have obscenity penalty provisions to control "obscene sexual act or indecent act to juvenile."

Setting the example for other local governments, the Metropolitan Government of Tokyo revised its ordinance for juvenile protection on December 16, 1997 in response to this situation. Significant characteristics of the amendment can be found in provisions prohibiting adults from having a sexual intercourse or a similar act with a juvenile by offering money or goods or through procuration (prostitution) and, for the first time, introducing penalty regulation for adults who engaged in such intercourse with a juvenile.

"Patronage Dating" originally meant receiving money in return for sexual favors. In these days, however, this term has come to mean the kind of act conducted especially by young girls. Sexual delinquencies committed in the name of "Patronage Dating" have drastically increased in number, which also indicates a lowering trend in the age of girls.

The police has actively been engaged in the strict control of adults involved in patronage dating, strict applications of the local government ordinances regulating telephone clubs (that play a role as a hotbed of sexual delinquency), continuous guidance to victimized girls, strict control over an act of prostitution inducement. At the same time, publicity and advocacy activities are carried out to develop the norm consciousness of young girls and formation of public opinion for the prevention of delinquency.

5) Telephone club
In recent years, businesses such as "telephone clubs" and "two shots dial" that intermediate communications between many and unspecified men and women using telephone lines are increasing. This causes a problem by such establishment becoming a hotbed for damages by sexual intercourse and sexually problematic acts such as prostitution because girls who see the advertising leaflets may call the service, out of curiosity, and there is a serious anxiety about the negative influence on the juvenile. Upon formulation of local government ordinance regulating telephone clubs and the likes in 46 prefectures, the police has, in addition to the efforts on its pertinent application, commenced to proceed with the enforcement to exert control over miscellaneous illegal acts, activities to remove telephone club's advertising materials (in cooperation with relevant organizations, groups and residents), publicity work and advocacy activities for the prevention of damage to the juvenile related to telephone clubs.

6) Sex tours to developing countries
Although Article 6 does not request the state parties to take measures as regards the situation outside the country concerned, Japan takes the following measures related to sex tours to developing countries.

Article 13(3) of the Travel Agency Law stipulates that travel agents are prohibited from getting involved with their tourists conduct (including receiving services) which violate local laws or ordinances. Furthermore, a notification was issued to provide that the names of those travel agents who are involved with the immoral acts committed by Japanese tourists overseas should be disclosed in public.

In recent years, however, there have been cases of Japanese tourists being arrested for purchasing child prostitution. In another case, a Japanese tourist was prosecuted after his return to Japan. In the wake of the World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held in Stockholm, Sweden in August 1996, the Japanese Government held a liaison meeting of ministries and agencies concerned and started advocacy activities for preventing the purchase of child prostitution and child pornography. As part of these efforts, posters appealing to eliminate the purchase of juvenile prostitution were made and distributed widely to airports, ports and windows for passport services. This was conducted in cooperation with the Japan Committee for UNICEF. The travel business association has also been making efforts to have travel agents and tourists well informed.

The Japanese Government clarifies its position with determination to respond strictly in accordance with the relevant laws and ordinances to the travel agents in case of their involvement with unsound acts conducted by Japanese tourists overseas.

(2) Various aspects of situation in prostitution
1) Businesses related to entertainment trade on sex
In Japan, in the early part of the 1980s, new types of adult entertainment trade emerged one after the other and this had an enormous amount of negative influence on the good morals of society and sound development of the juvenile. Responding to the situation, the Entertainment Establishments Control Law (which has been superseded by the Law Regulating Adult Entertainment Businesses, etc.) was amended in 1984 to significantly strengthen regulations over such trade; defining five kinds of adult entertainment business (see Statistical Annex 56), introducing the notification system, prohibiting various acts concerning the persons under 18 years of age and brokers for adult entertainment service, and providing restrictions on advertisements, publicity and business hours in addition to the regulation on areas where business is prohibited. And in April 1998, in consideration of the current situation with the trend of diversified forms of prostitution (such as a sex entertainment business with no establishment involved), partial amendment of the adult entertainment law was made.

In addition, coping with recent changes in the business environment that have been brought about by the progress of scientific technology including the wide-spread use of personal computers, the government ordinance concerned was amended in 1996 by adding electromagnetic recording media such as the CD-ROM to the regulated items for pornography.

The number of business places of adult entertainment businesses in the last 5 years is shown in Statistical Annex 56.

For those illegal sex businesses that do not fall under the regulation for adult entertainment businesses, efforts have been made to conduct a thorough control by applying the Anti-Prostitution Law.

2) Diversified forms of prostitution
Forms of prostitution are diversified into various kinds such as prostitution in a bathroom furnished with a private room, prostitution disguised as various kinds of "accompanying" services (such as prostitution conducted in a so-called "pink bar"), prostitution of non-Japanese women carried out while working in restaurants, and conventional prostitutes, in addition to dispatch-type prostitution, including dating clubs, which represents the mainstream thereof.

3) Protection of women engaged in prostitution
(i) Facilities for the protection of women
Chapter 4 of the Anti-Prostitution Law has provisions on protection and rehabilitation for a woman who could possibly engage in prostitution in light of her disposition or circumstances (a woman in need of protection).

For that purpose, women's consultation offices based on Article 34, as well as women's protective institutions based on Article 36 of the Law have been established, and women's counselors based on Article 35 have been appointed.

In response to recent changes in the socio-economic conditions and from the standpoint of "nip an evil in the bud or prevention," these activities for the protection of women have been extending their scope of protection and support to include women who have problems that cause difficulties in their social life such as the breakup of families, a poverty-stricken life and sexual damage, in addition to women who have experience of prostituting themselves.

In the women's consultation offices, guidance and support, such as hospitalization at the women's protective institution, finding a job, returning to their families and transfer to a welfare office, are offered to women. For women in need of protection, temporary protection in the annexed temporary protective station has been implemented.

The women's counselors appointed in all 47 prefectures and some large cities conduct guidance and support services similar to what the women's consultation offices offer.

The women's protective institutions established at 52 locations in the nation provide vocational training to the inmates. These inmates will leave the institutions to commence employment, start their own business, return home, return to their parent's home, marry or transfer to other organizations or facilities.

(ii) Protection of victimized girls
Engagement in prostitution of a girl who is still mentally and physically immature is not only the violation of human rights of girls but also could possibly inflict substantial mental damage on her and have a bad influence on her subsequent sound development. The National Police Agency and the Ministry of Justice are striving to establish a system to offer continuous support to such girls through counseling services by expert staff members so as to facilitate an early recovery by alleviating the mental damage.

(iii) Protection of non-Japanese women
Among the non-Japanese women for whom the Government of Japan offered procedures for deportation for the reason of illegal working in 1996, the number of women engaged in prostitution, amounted to 484.

Regarding the problem of illegal employment of foreigners in Japan, when considering the economic condition of Japan and other Asian nations, it is expected that the inflow of foreigners who intend to work illegally may continue to increase and therefore non-Japanese women's engagement in prostitution will also increase. The Japanese Government has propelled such measures as strict immigration inspection, more intensified raid for unscrupulous cases, more active publicity activities both at home and abroad and other required measures under the fundamental policy of preventing practice of illegally employing foreigners in Japan and reducing the number of such foreigners while considering their human rights.

Also, efforts have been made to prevent the very act of prostitution, taking into account its immorality, anti-sociality and negative influence on public morals, society and public health. In addition, when the fact of infringement of human rights such as the case of prostitution by force is found, the relevant authorities will take the necessary measures for protecting human rights, including the issue of a government notification.

For the purpose of providing temporary protection for women who have suffered from such situations as above-mentioned, there are shelters available established by private sectors of women's organizations which have been used by many non-Japanese women. (An example would be the Women's House - Help," established by the Japan Woman's Christian Temperannce Union )

4)Integration of the Prostitution Countermeasures Council into the Council for Gender Equality
The Council for Gender Equality, newly established by the Establishment Law of the Council for Gender Equality, passed in March 1997 and enacted in April 1997, has taken over and developed the role formerly served by the Prostitution Countermeasures Council. The Council for Gender Equality is now investigating and deliberating on the measures against prostitution (both parties involved), and other forms of violence against women.

6.Article 7

(1) Women's participation in the public fields
Women's participation in the decision making for policies and measures is not only the request of democracy but is also indispensable in that women's concern can then be reflected upon various policies. However, it has long been pointed out that women's participation in decision making for policies and administrative measures in the public fields as well as in the private fields remains seriously undeveloped. The Japanese Government recognizes in the Present Status of Gender Equality and Measures (report on the plan for gender equality 2000) that, according to HDI (Human Development Index), GDI (Gender Development Index) and GEM (Gender Empowerment Measurement) of UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), Japan ranks 7th (among 175 countries studied) by HDI but falls to 34th (among 94 countries) by GEM, and expands the promotion for further participation by women in the decision processes for policies and measures.

1) Women Diet members
The ratio of women members in the Diet has been increasing, and has exceeded 10 percent in the House of Councilors since July 1989. The number and ratio of women Diet members among the total were 24 and 4.8 percent in the House of Representatives and 36 and 14.3 percent in the House of Councilors, making the total for both Houses to 60 and 8.0 percent as of March 1998. However, these rates are still at low levels in view of the international standards, and some political parties have therefore been considering to introduce a quota-system for women candidates.

Moreover, as one of the memorial events of the 50th year anniversary of the House of Councilors, the "Woman Diet" was held on October 4, 1997 for qualified women voters throughout Japan. The 252 one-day-members of the Diet who were determined by lot out of 1,609 applicants discussed various problems ranging from issues familiar to their daily lives to particulars of the national administration, and issued a "Declaration of the Woman Diet" at the end.

2) Appointment of women ministers
Five women ministers and seven women parliamentary vice-ministers were appointed after the presentation of third periodic report in October 1993. (As of May 1998.)

3) Women members of prefectural assembly, administrative heads, and others
(i) Proportion of women members in prefectural assembly
Although the number of women members of prefectural assemblies is showing a slight increase, there are only 2,849 women out of 64,260 members, namely only 4.4 percent of the total number of prefectural and municipal assemblies in December 1996 (this figure was 3.3 percent in December 1992, shown in the third periodic report). This shows that women's participation is still at a low level.

(ii) Women as administrative heads in prefectures, ordinance-designated cities and municipalities
As for heads of the 3,255 municipalities throughout Japan, there is only one woman city mayor, one woman town mayor and one woman village mayor (as of the end of December 1997). There are no women administrative heads in the 47 prefectures and 12 ordinance-designated cities.

(iii) Women as deputy heads of prefectures and of ordinance-designated cities
As for deputy governors appointed by the governors of the 47 prefectures, seven women were appointed as of May 1998. One woman is the deputy mayor in one of the 12 ordinance designated cities as of May 1998.

4)Women in the judiciary
The first women justice of the Supreme Court served from February 1994 to September 1997. There are six women president of court as of April 1997. The proportions of women who passed in the National Bar Examination, and who became court judges or public prosecutors have been all increasing in recent years. (Refer to the Statistics)

5) Women government workers
As reported in the third periodic report, restrictions against women in the application for any type of service (for regular service employee) had been abolished since FY 1989. In every fiscal year, the Government promotes government personnel management which pertinently complies with the promotion of gender equality in every field of society (the request of the times) in the "Administrative Policy on the Personnel Management" determined by the Director General of the Management and Coordination Agency after the resolution of the personnel managers' meeting, which turns out to be the fundamental policy for promoting gender equality in the personnel management of every government authority. The proportion of women in the managerial class still remains low, but both the number and proportion of women of the total of government workers and managerial class have been continuously increasing.

However, the first women administrative vice-minister in Japan was appointed at the Ministry of Labour in July 1997. Also, a woman Director General of Agency for Cultural Affairs (from July 25, 1994 to January 19, 1996) and Director General of Social Insurance Agency (from September 1st, 1994 to July 1st, 1996) were appointed.

6) Women local government workers
The number and proportion of women to the total number of workers in local government is increasing, and the number and proportion of women workers in management level is in the general trend of increase.

7) Active recruitment of women police officers and expansion of job areas
The police force is actively recruiting women police officers and expanding job categories according to increasingly complicated and diversified police-related matters.

Every prefectural police force has had women police officers since FY 1994, and 7,800 women police officers were in service on April 1st, 1997 (an increase of approximately 630 compared to the previous year, and an increase of approximately 2,400 compared to FY 1993).

The job categories for women police officers are also becoming more diversified to include various fields such as criminal investigation, identification, information analysis, escorting and protection of VIPs and security as well as traffic control, juvenile guidance, detention of women suspects and public relations.

The police force is diversifying job categories where women can play an active role independently. Particularly, as a measure of dealing with sexual crimes against women, in order to alleviate the mental burden on victims of the crimes, many women police officers were assigned to the sections in charge of investigation, police boxes and counseling rooms, etc.

The first women head of a police station was appointed in the Metropolitan Police Department in February 1994 and the first women Division Director was appointed in Shiga Prefectural Police Headquarters in August 1994, representing the progress in the appointment of women to higher managerial posts.

7.Article 8

(1) Participation of women in the policy decision-making process in the international field
1) Participation of women in the international conferences
The number of women officially delegated to the international conferences is gradually increasing. Japanese women have participated in major international conferences such as the follows (conferences since FY 1994 ) :

・ The 81st Session of the International Labour Conference (Adviser)
・ The Second Asian and Pacific Ministerial Conference on Women in Development (Representative)
・ International Conference on Population and Development (Adviser)
・ Session of the Governing Body of the International Labor Office (Adviser and Substitute delegate)
・ The 38th Regular Session of the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference (Representative)
・The 49th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Representative)(Alternate)
・ The 10th Joint Planning and Coordination Committee under the Agreement between the Government of Japan and the Government of the United States of America on Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection(Alternate)
・ The 5th Japan-U.S. Joint High Level Committee Meeting on Science and Technology under Japan-U.S. Agreement on Science and Technology(Representative)
・ The World Summit for Social Development(Adviser)
・ Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Review and Extension Conference (Representative)
・ The Fourth World Conference on Women (Representative)(Alternate)
・ The 50th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Representative)(Alternate)
・ The World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Representative)
・ The 51st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Representative)(Alternate)
・ The Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Environment and Development(Representative)
・ The 52nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (Alternate)

2) Participation in the Fourth World Conference on Women
The Japanese Government prepared the "National Report for the Fourth World Conference on Women" in June 1994 to conform with the policy of the United Nations and submitted the English version to the United Nations in September. The Government also prepared various materials to explain to other countries Japan's measures on women and the current situation of Japanese women before the plenary session, and distributed these materials to the participants of inter-government meetings and NGO forums held concurrently. Moreover, in order to ensure that the participants of these meetings comprehend the situation of Japanese women and the society as a whole, an exhibition was held to introduce the current situation of Japanese women playing active roles in various fields toward the formation of a gender-equal society using a number of charts and panels. At the same time, a meeting for exchange with NGOs was held and efforts were made to create a collaborative and cooperative relation.

About 5,000 women representing Japanese NGOs participated in the "NGO Forum on Women '95," and thereafter those empowered women have been carrying out further activities throughout the country.

3) Participation of women in the international organizations
The proportion of women Japanese staff in the United Nations Secretariat stood at 57.5 percent at the end of June 1997. And the number of Japanese women engaged in professional posts in major international organizations including the United Nations was 180 in 1994, but increased to 230 in 1997. As for Japanese women working actively in senior management positions, at the end of October 1997, there are the Deputy Chief Secretary at ILO, the Director of Personnel at UNESCO, the Director of the Department of Public Economy Administration, and Deputy Executive Secretary of ESCAP Secretariat as well as Ms. Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

4) Women ambassadors
To date, there have been six Japanese women ambassadors, including the current ambassador to Turkey.

5) WID (Women in Development)
Japan has been promoting Women in Development programs in line with moves of international community, including the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter stipulates that "full consideration will be given to the active participation of women in development and to the securing of benefits for women from development" as necessary measures for the effective implementation of Official Development Assistance.

Based on this policy, Japan announced "WID Initiative" at the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in September 1995.

Under the Initiative, Japan makes efforts to further build up the overall scale of WID-related development, mainly in the three areas of women's "education," "health" and "participation in economic and social activities," in cooperation with developing countries, other donor countries, international organizations and NGOs, while giving consideration to empowerment of women and gender equality at all stages of women's lives including in education, work, childbirth, economic and social activities.

Japan intends to incorporate women's participation and benefits to women in all ODA projects at every stage of the project cycle, including its formulation, implementation and evaluation in technical assistance, grant aid, loan assistance and subsidies to NGO projects. In order to support women at the grass-roots level, Japan extends grant assistance for grass-roots projects, subsidies to NGO projects and dispatches the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, etc.

Specific objectives of the three-priority areas in "WID Initiatives" are as follows.

(i) Education
With the cooperation of the recipient countries and other donors, Japan intends to support the efforts in the area of education to achieve the target of:

a) closing the gender gap in school education for 6-11-year-old children by 2005, and,

b) providing universal education for all 6-11-year-old girls as well as boys by 2010.

For this purpose, Japan intends to support:

・production and provision of educational materials and text books appropriate for the needs of girls' education in a given social context;
・training of teachers;
・establishment of facilities for training and education which girls can utilize;
・literacy training for adult women; and,
・other measures that promote girls' primary education.

(ii) Health
With the cooperation of the recipient countries and donors, Japan intends to support the efforts in the area of health to achieve the target of:

a) reducing maternal mortality below 200 per 100,000 childbirths by 2010 i in all countries and regions, and,

b) reducing infant mortality below 35 per 1000 by 2015 in all countries and regions.

For this purpose, Japan intends to support:

・enhanced provision of primary health care,
・promotion of basic education on sanitation and nutrition;
・provision of maternal health services; (eg. regular medical examinations for babies, advice on feeding, etc.);
・promotion of family planning;
・capacity to collect and analyze basic statistical data concerning medicine, health, sanitation, nutrition and population; and,
・other measures which promote women's health.

(iii) Economic and social participation
Japan intends to support enhancement of job skills training and learning opportunities for women to acquire relevant skills, improvement of their working environment, and establishment of a legal and institutional framework for women's full participation.

In view of the importance of assisting micro-enterprises which are often run by women, Japan has extended loan assistance to the Small-scale Industries Development Program in India, and recently extended similar assistance to Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Japan intends to support the efforts of other developing countries to introduce similar schemes and give financial and other support for the successful running of such schemes when introduced.

To assist micro-enterprises, Japan will:

・advise and help in the establishment of financial schemes which support micro-enterprises;
・advise and give guidance on how to organize women into groups or enterprises (eg. help create workers guilds or cooperatives);
・supply equipment that assists micro-enterprises and fosters women's participation (eg. supplying sewing machines, etc.); and,
・provide financial support for the schemes that assist women entrepreneurs.

8. Article 9

(1) Amendment to the Foreign Service Personnel Law
Article 7 of the Foreign Service Personnel Law stipulating grounds for disqualification was amended in May 1996. The Article was stipulated so that a person whose spouse was a foreigner could not become a foreign service official and that a person already in the foreign service and married later on to a foreigner would lose his/her office unless the spouse acquired Japanese nationality within four years after the marriage. The amendment eliminated these regulations, thereby enabling a person whose spouse is a foreigner to become or to continue to be a foreign service official.

The former Article was based on the belief that, because of the specific nature of the mission, a foreign service official, married to a foreigner, could be exposed to various inconveniences and disadvantages. Although this concern has not been totally disregarded yet, the decision to amend the provisions was made, taking into consideration various factors which reflect the change in the international community, such as the progressive internationalization of the Japanese society, the rising number of international matrimonies among diplomats in general.

9.Article 10

(1) Improvement of education and learning to offer multiple choice for women and to promote gender equality
1) Improvement of elementary and secondary education
The Ministry of Education provides prefectural boards of education with information, guidance and assistance in order to promote throughout school education guidance for the respect for human rights, equality between men and women, and mutual cooperation and understanding. Information and guidance are also provided from the standpoint of giving due consideration to textbooks and educational materials used at school, improving and enhancing training of teaching staff.

As was described in the third periodic report, under the current course of study (revised in 1989), home economics has been a common curriculum to both boys and girls at junior high schools since the 1993 school year and at senior high schools since the 1994 school year. The course is taught thoroughly to teachers through the training about the way to improve the program, presentation of the fruit of study and so on. The course is practiced smoothly at both junior and senior high schools.

Some textbooks on social study describe the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and many textbooks on home economics have descriptions on diverse images of family and the importance of gender equality, and mutual understanding and cooperation.

2) Promotion of gender equality in institutions of higher education
Women's studies that seek to reconstruct the conventional system of learning from women's point of view is promoted at institutions of higher learning having in mind fostering of men scholars of women's studies. Efforts are also being made to make students sensitive to gender in education and research activities.

Research institutions on women's studies have been set up at an increasing number of universities recently. Among national universities, Ochanomizu University set up the Institute for Gender Studies in May 1996, with its main objectives being: conducting academic study and investigation, and providing education training and information concerning gender. The Institute undertakes various study projects and offers research guidance to undergraduate and post-graduate students as well as to researchers. It holds monthly study meetings and symposiums open to everyone and publishes "Annual Reports of the Institute for Gender Studies".

Women's University of Osaka Prefecture (public) and Aichi Shukutoku University (private), have also set up gender study centers.

3) Promotion of social education
(i) Increasing study opportunity for home education
Study on the importance of respect and understanding of each other regardless of sex is done on various occasions, including home education courses, courses for newly-wed couples and courses for couples expecting a baby. How to promote gender equality in family life is often taken up as a theme for women's classes. Ministry of Education subsidies pioneering or model projects selected from such classes or lecture meetings held by local governments.

(ii) Promotion of mutual understanding and cooperation among young people
Boards of education, public halls, women's organization and parent-teacher associations hold classes and lecture meetings to give young men and women an opportunity to study gender equality, mutual understanding and cooperation, and gender equality at home, local community and workplace. The Ministry of Education provides subsidies to the model projects selected from the classes and meetings held at the local level.

4) Promotion of lifelong learning
Japan is promoting policies to establish a lifelong learning society where "people can learn at any stage of life, can freely select and participate in opportunities for study and can have the results of their learning appropriately evaluated". This is also important to enable women to take part in every aspect of social life equally to men.

(i) Regional promotion of systems for lifelong learning
Japan promotes the utilization of Regional Basic Plans for the Promotion of Lifelong Learning which is set up based on Lifelong Learning Promotion Law, and encourages local governments to establish administrative organizations such as lifelong learning council, to formulate plans to promote both programs and centers for the promotion of lifelong learning.

(ii) Promotion of recurrent education
Recurrent education to re-train adults and working people has become increasingly important to make them cope better with the rapid progress in science and technology and a change in industrial structure. The Ministry of Education therefore encourages colleges and Special Training College to reserve places for adults in a student body, to employ day and evening courses and to open schools. The Ministry of Education is also striving to expand functions of universities and special training colleges as places for lifelong learning, and to improve and expand open classes at upper secondary schools.

(iii) Expansion of the University of the Air and other institutions
On January 1998, the Broadcasting areas of the University of the Air, which provides higher education via TV and radio, was expanded nation-wide due to satellite broadcasting. The Ministry of Education also promotes establishment of credit-system upper secondary school and special training colleges to provide more opportunities for study to people with different educational background and lifestyle.

(2) Education and learning opportunity to meet women's diversified and advanced demand
1) Promotion of social participation of women and lifelong learning
Since 1990, the Ministry of Education has entrusted women's education organizations with model projects to promote women's participation in social activities so that they can exert their potentials and create a comfortable society to live in. In FY 1997, the Ministry of Education consigned 18 projects to local organizations and 8 projects to national bodies. One of them produced a picture-story show and a comic stage dialogue scrip to be used as educational material to easily study Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and held forum to actively publicize the Convention.

Since FY 1994, the Ministry of Education has supported "Projects for Promotion of Women's Lifelong Learning" carried out by local governments as a way to develop and advance women's ability and cultivate the sense of gender equality.

2) 20th anniversary of the National Women's Education Centre
National Women's Education Centre is the only national education institution for women, and as the national center it plays leading and pioneering roles for women's education facilities and centers across the country.

The Centre, to enrich information program, opened a homepage on Internet in FY 1996 and initiated advanced course to train education leaders to become gender-free. It has also established multimedia database on family education and has conducted research study on educational function of family and local community.

The Centre held "Forum on Women's and Gender Studies" since FY 1996 and provides opportunity to present achievements of organizations, groups or individuals active in research and education of women's studies and gender studies at local levels and promotes exchanges of views and net-working among such organizations, groups and individuals. It also puts together results of various studies on the contents of and education methods for women's studies.

Since FY 1997, the Centre began holding a "Regional Seminar for Women's Life-long Learning" in cooperation with local boards of education and institutions relating to women's lifelong learning.

In November 1997, the Centre held a woman's festival and commemorative ceremonies to mark the 20th anniversary of its founding and sponsored an international lifelong study forum under the theme of: "Women's Network toward the 21st Century." As another commemorative event, the Center published "National Women's Education Center Bulletin" composed of theses, contributions and case studies that are expected to contribute to international, interdisciplinary and practical researches on lifelong study.

(3) Course and employment guidance
Women university students tend to major in humanities and take up clerical work after graduating from school. The Government has implemented various measures so that every woman student can decide her future course independently without being swayed by fixed ideas on roles of men and women.

The Government also calls on universities to offer career guidance for students and since FY 1995 has conducted national employment guidance meetings where employment counselors at universities and company officials in charge of recruitment can exchange views and information. It has promoted measures to provide employment-related information to students promptly and through disposition of employment counselors at school and called on corporations to give equal employment opportunity to women students.

It has also implemented since FY 1995 by Ministry of Labour seminars for women high school students, their parents and guidance counselors at school to raise their awareness as to the importance of not being swayed by gender-based stereotyped ideas in deciding the future course of the students.

(4) Program for Educational Reform
In January 1997, Ministry of Education worked out a "Program for Educational Reform" to concretely and positively tackle the educational reform, one of the six reform policies the Japanese Government has set forth. One of the item of the Program is to promote education to heighten the awareness of gender equality. For the purpose of discarding the gender-based stereotype roles and promoting gender equality based on the awareness for human rights in order to realize a gender-equal society, Ministry of Education improves education and learning to promote gender equality through the improvement of training for the persons concerned to education, and in the development of teaching materials in school and social education.

10. Article 11

Promotion of Measures to Ensure Equal Employment Opportunity

(1) Implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law
Following the implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, progress has been made regarding the equal treatment of men and women during the recruitment and hiring process, as seen in the decline in the number of job offers according to the gender of the applicant.But there were many cases in which women students were not given an equal opportunity to get a job compared with men students in the severe employment situation in recent years. For example, many corporations failed to provide women students with the necessary information on their recruitment and hiring and imposed limits on the number of women to be employed. As to assignment and promotion, there has been an increase in the number of women assigned to the duties which had previously been assigned only to men, and an increasing number of women have been promoted to posts equivalent to section chief. On the other hand, however, an increasing number of corporations say that they "assign women to jobs where women's characteristics and sensitivity can be utilized," although a majority of corporations say that they"assign women to the same jobs as men in accordance with their ability and aptitude." Most of the corporations treat men and women equally in training and fringe benefit programs. As to mandatory retirement age, retirement and dismissal, although an improvement has been made in systems such as the difference in the mandatory retirement age between men and women, there still remain problems in practice including the existence of compelling or encouraging women to retire at a time of pregnancy, maternity leave, marriage or at a certain age.

The Prefectural Women's and Young Workers' Office of the Ministry of Labour receives about 20,000 requests from corporations and workers for advice concerning the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and provides individual administrative guidance on the basis of the Law to about 3,000 of the cases a year. The number of requests for advice concerning recruitment and hiring from women students and concerning forced retirement and dismissal is on the increase, apparently reflecting the faltering economy in recent years.

The number of requests for advice and counseling on sexual harassment in the workplace is also on the increase. Some of the cases involving harassment are vicious and serious. Suits involving sexual harassment have become conspicuous.

Restrictions of overtime work, holiday work and late-night work by women have been eased to a certain extent, except in cases of maternal protection under the Labour Standards Law, from the standpoint of promoting equal opportunity and treatment of men and women in the workplace. There is an increasing tendency to call for a total abolition of the restrictions on the employers' side, while women have also begun to call for a review of the restrictions.

(2) Revision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, etc.
In view of the changes in social and economic environments made in the 10 years or so since the Law was implemented, and with the prospect of the rapidly approaching era of the aging society with less number of children, the Government submitted a bill to revise the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, the Labour Standards Law and the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law to the 140th session of the Diet in February 1997. The bill was designed to strengthen the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, and dismantle the restrictions on overtime work, holiday work and late-night work by women laid down by the Labour Standards Law in order to make the equal treatment of men and women in employment more effective and give women wider choices of work and chances to exert their potential. The revision was adopted by the Diet on June 11, 1997 and promulgated on June 18, the same year.

The revised law is scheduled to come into force on April 1, 1999, but the portion of the law concerning the improvement of maternal protection (mandating health control measures for pregnant women and extending the maternity leave period in the case of multiple pregnancy) was implemented on April 1, 1998.

The main points of the revision are as follows:

1) Strengthening the Equal Employment Opportunity Law
(i) Prohibition of discrimination against women in recruitment, hiring, assignment, and promotion
The revised law prohibits employers from discriminating against women in recruitment, hiring, assignment and promotion, while the previous law stipulated that it is the duty of employers to try to treat men and women equally in such fields. The law also prohibits employers from discriminating against women in all training programs, while the previous law prohibited discrimination only in part of such programs. As a result, discrimination against women is prohibited in all stages of employment from recruitment and hiring to mandatory retirement age, retirement and dismissal.

As to measures"women only" or "preferential treatment to women," on which the previous law was not constructed as a problem, the revised law prohibits such measures, as"discrimination against women," except for the measures designed to improve equal employment opportunity in the workplace for men and women.

(ii) Strengthening measures to ensure effectiveness of law
a) Publication of company names not obeying administrative guidance
The Minister of Labour or the Directors of Prefectural Women's and Young Workers' Office shall provide administrative guidance in the form of advice, guidance or recommendation to employers who violate regulations prohibiting discrimination against women and publish the names of employers not obeying the recommendation of the Minister of Labour.

b) Improvement of mediation system
At present, an application for mediation filed by one party cannot be initiated without the consent of the other party. The revised law makes it possible to initiate mediation on application from only one party.

(iii) Establishment of regulation to promote positive action
The Government will provide advice and other assistance to employers engaged in positive actions, such as the establishment of the organization in charge of positive action, analysis of current situations, and drawing and implementation of plans, to remove the gap between men and women workers created by the traditional practice and stereotyped role concepts deeply rooted in workplace and society, and to promote full utilization of women's abilities and skills.

(iv) Establishment of regulations to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace
The revised law calls on employers to take into consideration in personal management to prevent both quid pro quo and environmental sexual harassment in the workplace.

(v) Mandatory health control measures for pregnant women and nursing mothers
The revised law has made it mandatory for employers to take measures concerning the health control of women workers during pregnancy or after child birth (ensuring a time for such women to undergo health guidance or a health check, lessening the work-load to enable them to observe health advice, and implementing other necessary measures). The present law stipulates that employers are responsible for making the necessary efforts to ensure that such measures are taken.

2) Revision of Labour Standards Law
(i) Abolition of restrictions on overtime work, holiday work or late-night work by women
The revised law has abolished restrictions on overtime work, holiday work or late night work by women aged 18 years and above.

(i) Extension of maternity leave period in case of multiple pregnancy
At present, maternity leave is given six weeks before childbirth and eight weeks after childbirth in the case of a normal pregnancy and 10 weeks before childbirth and eight weeks after childbirth in case of multiple pregnancy. The revised law has extended the period of the leave before childbirth in the case of multiple pregnancy to 14 weeks from 10 weeks.

3) Establishment of measures to restrict late-night work by employees taking care of children or other family members (revision of The Child Care and Family Care Leave Law)
As a result of the removal of restrictions on late-night work by women under the revised Labour Standards Law, there may be a case when both parents work late-night shift or when no one is available for child care or family care late at night. In order to avoid such a case, the revised law prohibits employers from assigning a certain category of employees taking care of their family members to a late-night shift upon request from such employees, except when doing so obstructs the normal operation of business.

(3) Actions to ensure equal employment opportunity
1) Activities to raise the level of awareness of the revised Law
The Ministry of Labour has been conducting activities to raise the level of awareness in order to promote an understanding of the purpose of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law and to ensure equal treatment of men and women. With the revised law scheduled to come into force in 1999, the Ministry of Labour will continue to conduct awareness-raising activities on various occasions, including during the Equal Employment Opportunity Month in June, to make the revised law well known to employers and employees and realize the smooth operation of personnel management in line with the revised law.

2) Administrative guidance and assistance to settle individual dispute
The Prefectural Women's and Young Workers’Office has been providing administrative guidance to employers by visiting their offices under visiting plan to promote the compliance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Law.

The Ministry of Labour is also promoting speedy and smooth settlement of individual disputes between women workers and employers over the handling of equal employment opportunity through appropriate advice, guidance and recommendation by the Director of the Prefectural Women's and Young Workers' Office or through the smooth operation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Mediation Commission.

3) Promotion of positive action by corporations for full utilization of women workers' abilities and skills
The Ministry of Labour has worked out guidelines and a worksheet to promote positive actions by corporations and hold seminars targetting business leaders to realize equal employment opportunities not only in systems but also in practice (See Article 4). The Ministry of Labour intends to have positive actions by corporations deeply rooted in society as a developed version of the Voluntary Checkup Promotion Campaign (explained in the second periodic report) which have been conducted since FY 1988 that was designed to make the purpose of the Law fully known to every corporation and encourage corporations to voluntarily improve their personnel management.

4) Actions to remove the glass ceiling
Since the Equal Employment Opportunity Law came into force, there has been an improvement in the personnel management for women, in women workers' awareness, and in general understanding of equality between men and women in the workplace. However, women's participation in decision making at individual corporations and labour and management organizations remains feeble and this is believed to be one of the reasons for little awareness on the part of corporations and organizations to utilize women.

The Ministry of Labour conducted"International Exchange Program to Remove the Glass Ceiling" for three years starting in FY 1995, a program designed to promote an understanding of the parties concerned with regard to the appointment of woman managers and involvement of women in decision making at labour and management organizations through interchanges between representatives of the Japanese Government, labour and management, and their counterparts in other advanced countries.

5) Administrative guidance for appropriate operation of the multiple truck personnel management system
Under the multiple truck personnel management system, several trucks are set up according to, for example, whether the job is planning-type or routine-type or whether the job is subject to transfer requiring a change of abode, and personnel management such as assignment, promotion, education/training is carried out according to the truck.

In view of the fact that some corporations implemented different management for men and women under the name of multiple truck personnel management, the Ministry of Labour announced "Desirable Ways to Implement a multiple truck Personnel Management" in 1991 to ensure clear definition of each truck and operation method, implementation of fair recruitment and employment screening, openness of the trucks for both men and women, establishment of a system allowing employees to switch trucks, and fair personnel management for men and women. (The Ministry of Labour provides administrative guidance so that employment management is conducted in line with the above announcement.)

(4) Promotion of development of women's professional potential
In order for women to be specialists, obtain managerial positions, or make inroads into other fields amid a change in the economic and industrial structure and rapid progress in the field of communications and other technical innovations brought about by the internationalization of the Japanese society, it is essential that each woman develops her potential. This has made it all the more important to promote professional potential development for women. And doing so, it is important to support women's positive approach to take interest in their own potential and help them develop their potential.

To that end, the Ministry of Labour 1) has implemented a Business Career System (professional potential acquiring system) to support a step-by-step, systematic development of the professional potential of white-collar workers, and 2) is promoting the improvement of measures, including subsidies, to support employers who establish a work environment, including working hours, to enable workers, regardless of their sex, to voluntarily develop their potential.

(5) Promotion of operation to support women's participation in society
The Government is now constructing a center designed to support women's participation in society mainly through providing support training to utilize their potential, advice and various information. The Center is scheduled to open in FY 1999.

(6) Action to remove wage gap between men and women
Article 4 of the Labour Standards Law prohibits wage discrimination based on sex. As to the gap in average wages between men and women workers (excluding part-time workers), though it has been narrowing, the average wage actually paid to women workers was 63.1% of that paid to men workers in 1997. This gap, as was earlier described, stems largely from the difference in duty (type and rank of job), length of service and educational background, and so on.

The difference in the field of work between men and women workers is partly attributable to the fact that women were not necessarily given as equal an opportunity as men. The Ministry of Labour, therefore, has been endeavoring to realize the equal treatment of men and women and the steady expansion of women's field of work by prohibiting discrimination against women in recruitment/hiring and assignment and promotion, by prohibiting the practice of employment of"women only" or with "preferential treatment of women" that tended to fix women's job field and separate the duties of men and women, by revising the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, including the establishment of positive action provisions in the Law to diminish gaps between men and women workers, and by abolishing restrictions on overtime work, holiday work or late-night work by women.

As for measures to dissolve the difference in the length of service between men and women workers, the Ministry of Labour is promoting measures, including a child care and family care leave system, to harmonize Working Life with Family Life and to shorten working hours so that both men and women can continue work while caring for children and other family members and playing a role as a member of a family.

The Ministry of Labour is also promoting awareness-raising activities to get rid of the fixed ideas on the abilities of men and women and gender roles that lie behind the gaps between men and women.

As to the Labour Standards Law, the Ministry of Labour has been providing guidance to ensure proper implementation of the Law.

(7) Unpaid work
In May 1997 and May 1998, the Economic Planning Agency published its estimate of monetary value of housework, social activities and other unpaid work.

It shows that the monetary value (in terms of opportunity cost*) of unpaid work in 1996, as of the latest figure totaled 116 trillion yen, accounting for 23% of gross domestic product. Of them, unpaid work done by women was estimated at 98 trillion yen, or 85% of the total.

Per-day hours spent for unpaid work by a woman was 3 hours and 50 minutes and hours spent for paid work was 2 hours and 48 minutes. Comparable figures for a man was 31 minutes and 5 hours and 36 minutes, respectively. Women spend 7.4 times as much as men for unpaid work. Men's paid work hour is long but their unpaid work hour is extremely short.

Per-head value of unpaid work was 1.8 million yen a year for a woman and this was 5 times as much as that for a man (350,000 yen). The gap in monetary value between men and women is narrower than the gap in working hours due to the disparity in the average wages for men and women used in calculating opportunity costs.

*Opportunity cost is obtained by evaluating lost profits incurred by a person who gives up providing his/her labor on the market in order to engage in unpaid work.

(8) Establishment of systems for child care and family care leave
1) Revision of Child Care Leave Law
"A bill to revise part of the laws concerning Child Care Leave" designed to establish a family care leave scheme was enacted on June 5, 1995 and promulgated on June 9, the same year. As a result, the Child Care Leave Law was renamed the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law which is designed to support workers who are caring for family members to fulfill their responsibility in work as well as in the family.

The outline of the law is as follows.

(i) Establishment of the rights for family care leave scheme
By notifying the employer, a worker can take a family care leave for up to three consecutive months for every family member (spouse, parents, children (including grandparents, brothers and sisters, and grandchildren living with and being supported by the worker), and spouse's parents who are in need of being looked after (for more than two weeks due to an injury, illness, or mentally or physically handicapped). The employer cannot dismiss the worker who asked for or took a family care leave.

(ii) Shortening of working hours
The employer has to shorten working hours for more than three consecutive months, including a family care leave period, or take other measures to enable the workers to take care of a family member while working for the company.

(iii) Support for workers taking care of children or family members
In order to ensure continuation of work and facilitate re-employment of workers taking care of children or family members, the Government offers consultation/guidance and subsidies to business operators, offer advice and courses to such workers, and help workers forced to resign from their jobs due to child care or family care to find re-employment.

(iv) Measures for sailor women
A similar revision of laws was made as to sailor women and the Ministry of Transport promulgated in September 1995 an ordinance setting forth procedures for application for a child care or family care leave that will be implemented starting in April 1999 and necessary measures that employers have to take.

(v) Enforcement date
i) and the portion of ii) concerning the child care and family care will be put into force on April 1, 1999 and the rest has been in force since October 1995. Even before the enforcement, employers have to strive to establish a care leave system as soon as possible and take other measures, including shortening of working hours.

Following the revision of the Child Care Leave Law, the "Month for Harmonization of Work and Child Care" (October) was renamed the "Month for Harmonization of Work and Family" in 1995 and intensive awareness-raising activities have been promoted since then.

2) Establishment of child care leave benefit
Since April 1995, a child care leave benefit system has been in force under which an employee who takes child care leave will be paid 20% of the employee's wage before taking such a leave as the basic child care leave benefit if the employee meets the requirements set forth in the Employment Insurance Law. If an employee eligible for the basic benefit is employed after child care leave by the same employer for more than six months, the employee will be paid a return-to-work benefit in the amount of 5% of the wage before the leave multiplied by the number of leave months.

3) Establishment of family care leave benefit (slated for implementation from April 1999)
It is planned that starting in April 1999 an employee who takes family care leave will be paid in principle 25% of the employee's wage before the family care leave as a family care leave benefit if the employee meets the requirements set forth in the Employment Insurance Law.

4) Promotion of early introduction of family care leave scheme
The Government is promoting early introduction of a family care leave system and other measures including shortening of working hours for family care by offering consultation and guidance to employers and employees and by providing subsidies.

5) Putting child care leave system firmly in enterprises
According to the "Basic Survey on Women Workers' Employment Management" implemented by the Ministry of Labour in FY1996, the ratio for child-bearer to take child care leave in the workplace with provision of child care leave scheme was 44.5 percent for women, and 0.16 percent for men with child-bearer as their spouses, and the ratio of taking the leave for women was 99.2 percent, and 0.8 percent for men. The Government promotes child care leave and the measures to shorten the working hours for child care through counseling and giving guidance to the employer and women and men employees or by providing child care allowance.

(9) Support for child care
1) Building and reconstruction of day-care centers
Under the Child Welfare Law, the Government provides subsidies to those who build, expand, or reconstruct and operate day-care centers. Under the Child Allowance Law, the Government also provides subsidies to those employers who set up and operate day-care facilities in their business establishments. As a result, there are now roughly enough numbers of day-care facilities in Japan, although in some areas of the country, the number of children on the waiting list far exceeds the number of children enrolled.

2) Nursing measures that meet nursing demand
The Government adopted in 1994 "Basic Ideas to Promote Measures Urgently Needed for Nursing" (five-year emergency measures for nursing) to meet diversifying demands for nursing brought about as a result of an increase in the number of working women, and to promote compatibility of work and child care. In 1995, the Government began to promote baby nursing (nursing of zero-aged babies) and extended nursing (nursing after 6 p.m.).

3) Review of nursery policies
The Child Welfare Law was revised in 1997 to re-examine nursery policies and other measures with a view to create an environment conducive to nursing and to assist sound growth and independence of children of fatherless families.

With a rise in the number of dual-income families, it is now common for such families to use day-care centers. Diversifying work styles, meanwhile, demand diversified child care such as the nursing of infants, extension of nursing hours and temporary nursing (providing emergency or short-time nursing). It is therefore necessary to establish a system that can provide high-quality nursing services to meet flexibly the diversifying demand.

Nursing fees are set in accordance with children's age after taking into account the impacts on family budgets of collecting fees on the basis of nursing costs. Previously, nursing fees were set on the basis of income taxes paid by the guardian of children in the preceding year etc.

(10) Support to harmonize Working Life with Family Life
In order to promote compatibility of work and family, the Government has implemented following measures;

1) Measures to enable taking child care and family care leave and to return to work
The employees who take child care leave will be paid a benefit worth 25% of their wages before the leave. (As to the creation of child care leave benefits, see 10. Article 11 2. (c) 2).) In addition, the Government has changed the "Subsidies for the Implementation of Programs to Facilitate the Return to Work after Child Care Leave," which was reported in the third periodic report, into "Subsidies for the Implementation of Programs to Facilitate the Return to Work after Child Care and Family Care Leave," in line with the legislation of family care leave, to make it easy for workers to take child care or family care leave and to return to work.

2) Measures to enable workers caring for children or other family members to continue work
In addition to making use of the subsidy for company nurseries, which was reported in the third periodic report, the Government began to provide subsidies in October 1995 to those employers who extend financial assistance to employees receiving child care or family care services with a view to maintaining such workers' continued employment.

The Ministry of Labour expanded the "2020 Telephone Service," a project to assist employment of working women through providing information and advice on available child care and family care services on the telephone, into 25 areas as of 1997. In 1995, the Ministry of Labour began holding seminars targetting to workers who may have to take care of children or other family members while continuing work in order for such workers to acquire useful knowledge and be prepared to make child care or family care compatible with work. In FY 1994, it began "Family Support Center" projects to organize local membership clubs composed of those who extend child care assistance and those who want to receive such services in order to meet irregular or fluctuating demand for child care that the existing day-care centers cannot cope with such as a sudden need to work overtime and illness of children.

3) Measures to help find re-employment for workers who retired for child care or family care
The Government continues to promote introduction of a re-employment system by providing subsidies to employers who re-employ workers who retired work for reasons of pregnancy, childbirth, child care or family care.

The Government holds seminars, provides information and extends assistance for self-promotion to those workers who retired to take care of children or other family members so that they can resume work smoothly.

In addition, the Government helps women to find re-employment by offering detailed advice and information on jobs available at women's public employment security offices (Lady's Hello Work).

(11) Protection of mothers
The Government strives to ensure that the provisions on the protection of mothers of the Labor Standard Law are observed in order to maintain the health of working women during their pregnancy and after childbirth. The Equal Employment Opportunity Law stipulates measures that the employers have to take, including securing necessary time for working women to receive health guidance and undergo health check in accordance with the Mother and Child Health Law and making it possible for working women to follow instructions given by doctors.

The provision has been only the duty of employers to try but the revision of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law in June 1997 has made it mandatory. The revision of the Labour Standard Law has extended a maternity leave before childbirth from 10 weeks to 14 weeks in the case of multiple pregnancy (in force since April 1, 1998).

11. Article 12

(1) Supporting the health of women throughout life
In order to help women to be in good health throughout their life, the Government promotes integrated health services from adolescence to pregnancy and childbirth. For middle-aged or older women, it conducts health education with emphasis placed on lessening menopausal disorders and prevention of obesity, offers health consultation, and promotes the establishment of healthy eating habits and proper exercise and regular checkups for breast cancer and osteoporosis.

Public health offices, women's centers and medical institutions have implemented since FY 1996 "Projects to support the Health of Women throughout their Life" consisting of "health education" to be in good health throughout life, "general consultation" to cope with health problems peculiar to women, and "consultation on sterility" to provide proper consultation and guidance to married couples distressed by sterility.

(2) Services concerning pregnancy and childbirth
Activities to maintain the health of mothers and children are systematized in order to provide integrated, overall services most appropriate at each stage of life from the pre-marriage period on to pregnancy, childbirth and until the period when the newborn infant reaches infancy.

As a result of the revision of the Mother and Child Health Law since April 1997, municipalities began to offer basic health services from the time when a notice of pregnancy is filed until the time when the child reaches the school age. This has enabled local government offices to establish lifelong health care services by combining together the school and work hygiene programs and the health care programs for the aged that are already been in place.

(3) Improvement of perinatal medical care
The number of maternal death was 72 and the maternal mortality rate in the same year was 6.0 per 100,000 births in 1996, with both figures remaining almost unchanged for the last several years. The infant mortality rate was 3.8 and the neonatal mortality rate, which accounted for 53.6% of the infant death, was 2.0 per 1,000 births, while the perinatal mortality rate (the number of fetal death at 22 weeks and over a gestation plus the number of early neonatal death which are divided by the number of births plus the number of fetal death at 22 weeks and over a gestation multiplied by 1,000) was 6.7. All these figures are on the decline year by year.

The number of babies a woman gives birth is on the decline, while the number of women becoming pregnant at the age of 35 or older and the number of premature babies weighing less than 1,500 grams are on the increase. Against this background, the Government is promoting improvement of perinatal intensive care unit (PICU) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) across the country to provide advanced health care services for pregnancy, childbirth and infancy in order to create an environment where women can give birth to babies and bring them up in peace. In 1966, the Government began promoting establishment of a medical system for pregnant women and newborn infants in every prefecture.

(4) Family planning
The birth rate in Japan has declined sharply since 1975 and the total fertility rate (the average number of children that would be born to each woman in her lifetime in accordance with the fertility rate of a given period: the sum of the age-specific fertility rates for women aged 15 to 49) was 1.43 in 1996. Japan's population is forecast to decline in the years ahead and various measures are being taken to cope with a decreasing number of children. In the circumstances, the concept of family planning and how to make use of it is being taught as part of studies on sex at school and home training classes, and local health offices are providing technical advice and guidance. According to a survey conducted in 1996, 56.3% of married women practice birth control. The figure rises to 77.8% if those who once practiced birth control are included. Birth control is also prevalent among unmarried women, with 42.2% of such women responding that they prevent conception and 90.7% of unmarried women who had sexual intercourse saying they do the same.

Under the Maternal Protection Law, abortion is allowed only when being pregnant or delivering a baby is likely to cause a considerable harm to the woman for physical or economic reasons, or when a woman became pregnant due to rape under duress or adultery, and in both cases only on the consent of the woman in question and her spouse and in less than 22 weeks of pregnancy. The number of abortions declined to less than 600,000 in 1980 and to about 338,000 in 1996 after hitting a peak at 1.17 million in 1955. The number of abortions by women aged 19 or younger was 28,256 (8.3%) in 1996, showing an increase over the preceding year in both number and ratio. The number of abortions per 1,000 women had remained roughly at the same level since 1980. The number of babies born to women aged 19 or younger has been on the decrease and came to 15,621 (1.29% of the total births) in 1996. This shows that more than 60% of pregnant women aged 19 or younger had abortions.

The Government implemented a "Seven-Year Stop AIDS Campaign" in FY 1994 and has promoted various measures since then 1) to develop specific remedy and vaccines, 2) to prevent the spread of AIDS in Japan, and 3) to help prevent the spread of AIDS in the Asian region. Specific steps are as follows.

1) Seven-year Stop AIDS Campaign
(i) Enhancement of medical setup
In line with a rise in the number of cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the Government is promoting the establishment of a medical setup where persons infected with HIV can receive medical treatment in peace. It has established a base hospital for treatment of AIDS in each prefecture and a block base hospital in eight blocks nation-wide. It also promotes study and training at the AIDS treatment/R&D center set up in the International Medical Center of Japan.

(ii) Consultation/guidance setup and test setup
In addition to providing counseling on AIDS, the Government trains counselors and volunteer leaders to improve counseling at medical institutions and NGOs. It also administers HIV tests at local health offices free of charge with the names of the persons withheld, and offers counseling prior to and after such tests.

(iii) Promotion of research and international cooperation
It promotes research of AIDS treatment and development of AIDS medicines at domestic universities and research institutes, and is promoting cooperation with those abroad.

It also supports global efforts to combat AIDS through contributions to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS Program and participation in international conferences on AIDS.

(iv) Awareness-raising on correct information on AIDS
In addition to activities to raise awareness and disseminate correct information on AIDS through the distribution of posters and leaflets and to eradicate prejudices against AIDS, it promotes AIDS prevention measures by carrying out street demonstrations to mark the "World AIDS Day" on Dec. 1.

(v) Promotion of countermeasures against AIDS by prefectural governments
In order to implement detailed measures appropriate to each region, the Government provides subsidies to prefectural governments to set up a council to combat AIDS, to promote on-sight training of persons engaged in medical treatment and various publicity activities, and to offer tests and consultation.

2) Education at school and in society
In view of the importance of education in deepening correct understanding of HIV/AIDS and eradicating prejudices and discrimination against cases of AIDS and HIV positives, the Government 1) prepared and began distributing textbooks on AIDS to elementary, junior and senior high schools in FY 1992, 2) prepared and began distributing teaching materials for teachers in FY 1992, 3) began training of teaching staff in FY 1993, and 4) began practical researches in areas designated as AIDS education promotion areas in FY 1993. It also inaugurated a project to establish an AIDS education information network in FY 1995 to disseminate AIDS education information nation-wide. As social education, it promotes learning opportunities on HIV/AIDS in the community and disseminates of correct information and conducts awareness-raising activities on HIV/AIDS.

(6) Preventive measures against diseases peculiar to women
Checkups for osteoporosis, breast cancer and uterine cancer are conducted by municipalities as part of medical examinations for the aged and costs are born out equally 1/3 each by the Government, prefectural governments and municipalities.

1) Checkup for osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is the basic disease of bone fracture and the number of people suffering from the disease is expected to increase as Japan rapidly enters an era of aging population. Early finding of persons with decreased bone quantity is needed to prevent osteoporosis.

In 1995, the Government instituted a checkup of women in their 40s and 50s, or those shortly before or after menopause, for osteoporosis as part of an overall health examinations covered by the Health and Medical Service Law for the Aged to facilitate early detection of the disease. A total of 10,624 women had a checkup for osteoporosis in FY 1996.

2) Checkup for breast cancer
The number of women's death caused by malignant breast tumors was 7,900 in 1996. The number of death caused by malignant breast tumors accounted for 7.4% of the total women's death caused by malignant tumors. The age-adjusted death rate has been on the increase since mid-60s.

Breast cancer checkups were added to the cancer examinations covered by the Health and Medical Service Law for the Aged in 1987. Women aged 30 years and above are eligible for the once-a-year checkup. In FY 1996, a total of 3,187,084 women had a checkup for breast cancer across the country. Of them, 134,244 women had a close examination and breast cancer was detected from 2,921 of them.

3) Checkup for uterine cancer
The number of women's death caused by malignant uterine tumors was 4,963 in 1996. The age-adjusted death rate has been on the decrease and the figure for 1996 was one-fourth that for 1955. The number of death caused by malignant uterine tumors accounted for 4.7% of the total women's death caused by malignant tumors in 1996, sharply down from 26.3% in 1950.

Cervical cancer checkups and uterus cancer checkups were added to the cancer examinations covered by the Health and Medical Service Law for the Aged in 1983 and 1982, respectively. Women aged 30 years and above are eligible for a cervical cancer checkup and those who the doctor found fall under a certain category after asking questions have a uterus cancer checkup.

In 1996, a total of 3,847,779 women had a checkup for cervical cancer and 38,012 of them had a close examination and cervical cancer was detected from 2,538 of them. The number of women who had a checkup for uterus cancer was 247,264 and 4,476 of them had a close examination and uterus cancer was detected from 259 of them.

12. Article 13

(1) Exemption of unemployment insurance premium payment during child care leave
Previously, employees, taking child care leave, had to pay unemployment insurance premiums based on their standard pay. However, a 1994 revision has exempted women from such payment during child care leave to create an environment conducive to childbearing.

The amount of insurance benefits to be paid to such employees will be calculated as if they had kept paying premiums.

(2) Provision of child rearing allowance
Child rearing allowance provided to unmarried mothers, divorced fatherless families ect. is also provided to unmarried mothers after a child is recognized since August 1998.

(3) Various services for unmarried mothers
Mothers, including unmarried, of fatherless families and widows are often in an unstable condition financially and mentally as they are the breadwinners of their family and at the same time have to bring up their children. The Government therefore promotes various services for such mothers by employing mainly the Law for the Welfare of Mothers with Dependents and Widows in close cooperation with relevant organizations. It extends low-interest or interest-free loans to start a business, and offers consultations with experts, including lawyers, to such women having difficulties in running a business.

13. Article 14

(1) Participation of women in decision-making process in rural area
Participation of women in decision-making process in the local agricultural industry is gradually increasing, although the situation is still at a low level. For example, women accounted for 0.66% of agricultural committee members (403 out of 61,010) in 1996, up from 0.06% (40 out of 64,080) in 1985. Women accounted for 13.3% of full (individual) members of agricultural cooperatives (718,955 out of 5,419,580) in 1996, up from 10.4% (574,000 out of 5,536,000) in 1985.

In order to further improve the situation, it is necessary to establish a partnership under which men and women, regardless of sex, can take part in decision-making. To this end, the Government in 1997 began to promote an awareness-raising campaign involving men at home and local communities, formulate indexes and targets for increasing the ratio of women to the total number of board of directors at agricultural cooperatives, and evaluate their progress.

(2) Farmers' Pension Scheme
Previously, only those farmers who had their own farmland were able to join the Farmers' Pension Scheme. But as a result of the revision of the Farmers' Pension Fund Law in April 1996, women who do not have their own farmland can be covered by the pension scheme if they conclude a "Family Business Agreement" and meet certain requirements, including that they are engaged in agricultural management.

The revision of the law has not only made it possible for women to enjoy pension benefits but also raised their social status by recognizing them as members of agricultural management.

(3) Technical and management guidance to farmers
Extension adviser stationed in regional agricultural extension offices visit farmers to offer advice on agricultural technology and management, provide information, set up fields for display, and hold seminars and training courses to comprehensively and systematically promote their activities.

Specifically, they provide necessary agricultural technological guidance and information on management and funds to rural women who want to start farming. They offer wide-ranging information and management guidance to groups of women planning to start income generating activity, give advice on how to enter job journals and bookkeeping and how to analyze and diagnose business results based on the entry, and help improve working conditions.

In FY 1995, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries began to supply funds to private organizations to start correspondence courses for rural women. At present, "Green Tourism Expert Training Course" and "Agricultural Labor Management Expert Training Course" are being offered.

(4) Advancement of economic status of women
Whether or not women get a fair amount of wages or salary for their work is one of the yardsticks to gauge the degree of the advancement of economic status of women. In 1996, 72.6% of regular farm worker of women and 61.0% of women who are engaged in fishery full-time received a fair amount of wages or salary. This shows that nearly 30% of such women did not receive wages or salary. To have women's work evaluated properly and to advance their economic status, it is advisable for women to receive a proper amount of wages or salary.

Therefore, the Government advocates the concluding of the family business agreements. This is an arrangement on the working conditions such as salary and days off and on work sharing, decided after discussions among family members engaged in farm management.

(5) Status of women workers without wages or salary in rural area
Proportion of women not receiving wages or salary in 1996 was 26.7% among regular farm worker of women and 39.0% among women who are engaged in fishery full-time. Apparently, continued efforts are being called for to raise the figures to properly evaluate women's work.

(6) Promotion of women's participation in local community activities
In order to promote active participation of rural women in community activities in agricultural and fishing villages, it is important to promote awareness-raising campaigns involving men at home and local communities and to establish a partnership under which men and women, regardless of sex, can take part in the decision-making process. To facilitate the establishment of such partnership, the Government has implemented "Partnership Promotion Projects," under which it investigates the situation of women's participation in the management of agricultural cooperatives, agricultural committees, and land improvement districts, and sets up participation targets.

(7) Financing for women
The Government provides information on management control and supports efforts to start income generating activity such as processing of agricultural products with a view to ensure the stability of business groups of rural women. It also extends interest-free loans from the agricultural improvement fund and the coastal fisheries improvement fund to supports group activities of women and the aged in agricultural and fishery villages.

(8) Overall extension service of home economics
Extension service of home economics by the Government has produced considerable results and the gap in standard of living between urban and rural areas are disappearing. Therefore, the extension service is now directed more to improvement of agricultural work, coordination of farming and living plans, reactivation of rural areas, and problems related to production.

14. Article 16

(1) Study on amendment to Civil Code
The Legislative Council, an advisory organ to the Minister of Justice, which had been studying the review of the provisions of the Civil Code pertaining to marriage etc. since January 1991, submitted an "Outline of a Bill to Revise a Part of the Civil Code" to the Minister in February 1996. Of the revisions mentioned in the outline, those pertaining to gender equality are as follows;

Public opinion on this issue is divided, and according to a "public opinion survey" conducted by the Prime Minister's Office in June 1996, it is still difficult to state that amendment to Civil Code receives majority support. But, compared to the result of the previous public opinion survey, such characteristics exist as the increase of support, mainly among the younger generation. Therefore, the Government will further study the amendment taking into consideration future trend of public opinions.

1)Minimal age for marriage
The current law sets the minimal age for marriage at 18 for men and at 16 for women. The Outline calls for setting the minimal age at 18 for both men and women.

2) Period required for women to remarry after divorce or cancellation of former marriage
The current law requires six months. The Outline calls for setting such a period at 100 days, the minimum period required to avoid confusion as to the paternity of children born after the re-marriage.

3) Surnames of married couples
The current law states that a married couple has to adopt either one of their surnames as their common surname. The Outline calls for allowing married couples to choose at the time of marriage whether to adopt either one of their surnames or to continue to use their respective surname.

(2) Domestic Violence
1) Violence between husband and wife
As domestic violence such as husband's violence against wife can easily be latent the police has been giving counsel and advice on not only violence itself but also the problems of the couple leading to violence on request basis.

Violence, even if committed within a family, is not immune from application of penal provisions, such as battery, bodily injury, false arrest and imprisonment, indecent assault and rape, and these penal provisions have been appropriately enforced.

Women's organizations in the private sector offer emergency shelters at around 20 places across the countries to wives suffering from violence by husbands.

2) Child abuse
The police has its women staff members offer advice and accept reports of injuries in case of abuses against girls so that such girls do not feel uncomfortable in reporting injuries. And if an incident is identified, the police take the appropriate measures to rescue such girls in cooperation with other organizations concerned.