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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 September 27 - October 3  > JCP Vice Chair Tamura discusses gender equality on TV
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2023 September 27 - October 3 [POLITICS]

JCP Vice Chair Tamura discusses gender equality on TV

October 2, 2023
Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Tamura Tomoko, on NHK's "Sunday Debate" program broadcast on October 1, discussed gender equality in the areas of politics and economy with representatives of other political parties.

In political field

Tamura explained that the JCP is making efforts to lift the ratio of its women candidates to 50%, and that 57.7% and 40% of potential JCP candidates for now are women in proportional representation and single-seat constituencies, respectively, in the upcoming general election. She added, "We are planning to field even more women candidates."

Takahashi Harumi of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, in regard to a percentage of women candidates in the LDP, said, "Our party chooses the right women for the right positions." Tamura responded, "Your party president, Prime Minister Kishida, has named no woman to the posts of vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries. Your party undervalues women's abilities." Takahashi said, "In ten years, the LDP will raise the female ratio to the total LDP candidates to 30%." Tamura responded, "It's too slow. Do you think that 30% is balanced?"

A gender quota system was another topic discussed in the program. Tamura said, "We should immediately consider introducing such a system. However, the system won't automatically push up the number of female winners in the present single-seat constituency electoral system, so system reform is a must." Tsujimoto Kiyomi of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan agreed with Tamura.

In economic field

Tamura said, "The more workers there are in one company, the greater the men-female gap in wages. It is said that women employees in leading companies in the finance, securities, and insurance industries earn only 40% of men's salaries." She emphasized the need to build an effective mechanism to eliminate gender inequality in wages.

Tamura said, "Sales, customer service, and hospitality businesses are jobs in which many low-paid non-regular women work. Jobs in the public sector are especially taken on by non-regular women employees. Between 60% and 80% of public librarians, consumer consultants, women's consultants, and children's nurses are women who are employed on non-regular contracts. Many of them receive less than two million yen in yearly income." She insisted that their hourly wages should be at least 1,500 yen, and that the disparities in working conditions between regular and non-regular workers should be eradicated so that women can be paid more.

Tamura pointed out that many companies regard personnel expenses as costs and do not assign the necessary number of staff as part of their cost-cutting efforts, and that instead they place low-wage non-regular workers in the understaffed divisions. She added, "It is the LDP government which created and has overlooked this exploitative structure for a long time. We must work to fundamentally change this practice."

In the program, they also discussed the establishment of a selective separate surname system. Takagi Kaori of the "Nippon Ishin no Kai" party said that allowing the use of the premarital family name will be enough, showing her opposition to the introduction of the system. LDP Takahashi was also opposed to establishing the proposed dual surname system.
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