Reischauer Institute: "Advancing the Status of Women in a Globalizing Japan: A 70-Year Retrospective"


Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1:00pm to 6:00pm


CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room, 1730 Cambridge Street

Please contact the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies if you have any questions.

Sponsored by
Showa Women’s University;
Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture;
Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs;
Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Symposium Description

The end of the Pacific War ushered in a period of unprecedented freedom for women in Japan.  In 1945, they did not even enjoy the right to vote.  Seventy years later, “Womenomics,” or the equalization of gender roles in the work force, is an integral part of Prime Minister Abe’s policies to revitalize the Japanese economy.  This symposium will examine how women's economic, social, and political status has advanced in postwar Japan, and what obstacles remain.

Symposium Schedule

(Click "Read more" to see the schedule of events.)



Opening Remarks
Mariko Bando
Chancellor and President, Showa Women’s University, and former Director General, Bureau for Gender Equality

Keynote Speech
Seiko Noda
Member, House of Representatives, and former Minister of Posts and Telecommunications


Panel 1: 70 Years of Change in Women’s Roles
Mariko Bando
Chancellor and President, Showa Women’s University, and former Director General, Bureau for Gender Equality

Sumiko Iwao 
Professor Emeritus, Keio University and Tokyo City University, and author of The Japanese Woman

Margarita Estévez-Abe
Associate Professor of Political Science, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Susan Pharr
Edwin O. Reischauer Professor of Japanese Politics, Department of Government, and Director, Program on U.S.-Japan Relations, Harvard University




Panel 2: Recent Strategies to Increase Participation in Decision-Making and Management
Kathy Matsui
Chief Japan Equity Strategist, Goldman Sachs, and Originator of “Womenomics”

Naohiro Yashiro
Professor, Faculty of Global Business, Showa Women’s University, and former President, Japan Center for Economic Research

Glen S. Fukushima
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, and former President, American Chamber of Commerce in Japan

Mary Brinton
Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Chair, Department of Sociology, Harvard University


Closing Remarks
Tsutomu Himeno
Consul General of Japan in Boston