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Japan Finance Ministry Recruits Fashion Editor to Encourage Women to be More Involved in The Country's Economy

February 29
6:29 AM 2016

The Japan Finance Ministry recruits a prominent fashion editor to talk to Japanese women about fiscal policy, specifically the national debt. Hiromi Sogo is the editor-in-chief of luxury magazines Vingt-Cinq Ans and Richesse, both a high-end publication covering women issues including fashion.

According to Bloomberg, Sogo will be one of six female speakers to lecture on the topic at a seminar for women in April. The seminar is one of the Finance Ministry's strategy to support Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his plan to involve women to take a more active part in society and economy.

The seminar, organized by the Finance Ministry, will be the first women-only lecture in 10 years, especially regarding the government spending. Previously, Prime Minister Abe had sought to attract more women into the country's workforce to make up for the aging workforce and decreasing working-age population as the population shrinks.

Sogo admitted that she didn't expect to be asked to take part in the seminar, especially because of the topic. "To be honest, I was clueless about fiscal policy. But it's important to offer people a chance to find out about it. Women make up half the population and they need to think not about the small unit of the household, but about what is happening in the country as a whole," she stated the importance of such seminars to women.

In recent months, new regulations were made to encourage companies to employ and promote more women to a leadership role, as reported by Japan Today. The government has targeted that 30 percent of all leadership will be filled by women by 2020. The target was then revised to 7 percent for the national government and 15 percent for private firms. 

According to The Japan Times, Sogo managed to be appointed as an editor of a fashion publication in 1995, when even the top positions of women's fashion field were dominated by men. Realizing the situation of her country's industry for women, Sogo agreed to help the government encouraging women to be more interested and involved in bigger issues, especially the government spending, fiscal policy, and the national debt.

In a recent Global Gender Gap Report compiled by the World Economic Forum, Japan ranked 101st out of 145 countries in the index. The report revealed that Japanese women typically earn only 61 percent of the average male salary while very few leadership role in Japanese companies is held by women.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso will be the only male speaker at the all women's seminar covering the country's fiscal policy and national debt. Women's luxury magazine editor-in-chief Hiromi Sogo will also take part in delivering a lecture, along with five other female speakers. The seminar is arranged by the Finance Ministry as a part of the strategy to get more women involved in the country's financial and economic sectors.

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