Tokyo, Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)–The proportion of women among candidates in the next election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Japan’s parliament, currently stands at about 17 pct, falling short of the some 18 pct in the previous election in 2017.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has the lowest share among major political parties, at around 8 pct, while the figure for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan comes to some 17 pct.
Men dominate the current Lower House, offering few opportunities for women to replace them.
According to a survey released by the World Economic Forum in March, women accounted for 9.9 pct of Japanese lawmakers, putting Japan at 140th on the gender equality list of countries in the world.
Japan has long been pushing for greater roles for women in society, but the share of women among Lower House election candidates remained low, at 15 pct in 2012 and about 17 pct in 2014.
In the LDP, there are only 25 women among about 300 members preparing to run in the coming election, to be held by autumn. The total includes 262 incumbents, and only one of the 12 lawmakers planning to retire from politics has selected a woman as the successor.
The LDP’s Youth Division called on the party leadership on Aug. 5 to promote women more actively.
In the opposition camp, the CDP has set a goal of raising the share of women among national election candidates, lawmakers and party staff members to 30 pct at the earliest possible time no later than 2030.
The goal was decided as part of reform measures the party mapped out after Hiranao Honda resigned as a Lower House lawmaker and from the party in July over inappropriate comments he made regarding the age of consent.
The CDP has 37 female candidates for the coming Lower House election, including 22 first-timers and former lawmakers.
The Social Democratic Party has the highest share of women among candidates, at about 57 pct.
The Japanese Communist Party comes second, at some 34 pct. It plans to field a female candidate in Honda’s constituency in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan.