The share of women among major Japanese company executives has risen to 5.1 percent, though the level is still very low by international standards, according to a recent Jiji Press survey.
Of the 7,659 board members and other executives at 500 surveyed companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, 392 were women. The figure increased half a percentage point from last year.
The number of female executives has been rising steadily since a Jiji Press survey on the matter started in 2012, when the rate stood at 1.5 percent.
Women accounted for 15.8 percent of all directorships at major global companies in 2016, according to a survey by U.S. financial firm MSCI Inc.
The latest Jiji Press poll showed that 276 of the 500 companies had at least one female executive.
Among all female executives, 87 percent were appointed from outside the companies. Many male executives were promoted internally.
Women appointed directors from outside the companies included 83 lawyers and 27 accountants, following a series of corporate scandals.
Japan Post Insurance Co. has six female executives, the most among the surveyed companies, followed by eight companies with four female executives, including drug maker Eisai Co. and home equipment maker Lixil Group Corp.
The government aims to boost the share of leading positions held by women in all fields to around 30 percent by 2020. The target covers a wide range of managerial posts not limited to corporate directorships.