From the Times Online:
The new chief executive of one of Japan’s larger companies sat up late into the night recently puzzling over the accounts. He simply could not work out why there seemed to be so many more people working in the office than appeared on the books.
An assistant explained it to him the next day: we don’t count the women.
Gender equality advocates and women’s groups say that, for as long as anyone can remember, the Japanese political world has done much the same — ignored the interests of half the population, discounted their talents and squandered an economic goldmine.
Those same groups believe that the August 30 general election, for which unofficial campaigning begins today, may represent the single biggest opportunity to subvert a system that feels structurally and emotionally pitted against women.