I am quite surprised that as few as 50% of Japanese men surveyed by Nikkei Business magazine recently think that women should focus solely on looking after their children when they are young. Considering this together with 75% of the men saying that women should continue to work even if they have children, it does seem to me that Japanese men are more supportive of women in the workplace than you might imagine.
In fact according to the survey, the men too feel they have to make sacrifices for their children (60% agree that sacrificing your own lifestyle is unavoidable if you have children whereas only 40% of women agreed) and 60% say that one of the three main reasons they work is to support their family.
The reason most chosen by men and women for working is “to earn money” (85% and 95% respectively), but for men the third most chosen reason is “to do something useful for society” (25%), whereas the women chose “to develop myself” (50%) and “self actualisation” (35%) as their other two reasons for working, not “support the family” (15%). Perhaps another angle on why Japanese women might choose the relative insecurity of a foreign owned company – where there is performance based pay, and seemingly more career development opportunities.
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