News / Asia

New Japanese Cabinet Includes 5 Women

  • Newly appointed ministers leave the prime minister's office for the Imperial Palace for the attestation ceremony in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.
  • Japanese Emperor Akihito (left) accompanied by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second left) stands as newly-appointed Trade and Economy Minister Yuko Obuchi, second right, receives a attestation certificate during a ceremony at the Imperial Palace, in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.
  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his newly appointed Trade Minister Yuko Obuchi chat prior to a group photo following the first cabinet meeting at the prime minister's official residence, in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.
  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front row center) and his new cabinet members gather for a photo session following the first cabinet meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.
  • Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (front row center) and his new cabinet members pose for a group photo following the first cabinet meeting at the prime minister's official residence, in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.

New Japanese Cabinet Includes 5 Women

VOA News
Japan's new Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.Japan's new Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.
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Japan's new Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.
Japan's new Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yuko Obuchi arrives at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Sept. 3, 2014.

Five women have been named to Japan's new Cabinet, underscoring Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's commitment to better utilizing women to help revitalize the economy.

The new 18-member lineup has more female members than any Japanese Cabinet since 2001. It includes more than the outgoing Cabinet, which had just two female ministers.

Prime Minister Abe has said he wants women to make up 30 percent of Japan's political and business leaders by 2020, to help address Japan's worsening shortage of workers.

Before the move was announced Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said empowering women is a crucial part of Abe's government.

"We believe a positive environment for women is a pillar of our government and we do what we promise to do. I believe that is the policy behind the prime minister's new Cabinet," said Suga.

Abe retained several key ministers, including Finance Minster Taro Aso, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, and Suga.

It is the first Cabinet reshuffle for Abe, who has seen his popularity fall to around 50 percent, down from about 60 percent, since he took office in late 2012.

 

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