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Too Few Women at the TopThe Persistence of Inequality in Japan$
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Kumiko Nemoto

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702488

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702488.001.0001

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The Japanese Way of Change

The Japanese Way of Change

Recasting Institutional Coordination, Sustaining Gender Inequality

(p.29) 2 The Japanese Way of Change
Too Few Women at the Top

Kumiko Nemoto

Cornell University Press

This chapter places the absence of women in high positions in Japanese companies in the context of Japan's coordinated capitalism by looking at state–business–labor relations, corporate governance, the family-and-welfare regime, and Japanese laws and courts. Focusing on the economic decline and intensified global competition in the 1990s, the chapter discusses how Japan's postwar default settings in the realms of corporate governance, the labor market, the family regime, and the legal system have changed to some degree, and recasts gender inequality in light of these changes. The chapter also compares sex-discrimination court cases in Japan and in the United States, focusing on how the US legal system has played a critical role in reducing employers' discriminatory practices in America, while in Japan, the laws and courts still tend to side with the Japanese business community and state.

Keywords:   Japanese companies, sex discrimination, coordinated capitalism, state-business-labor relations, postwar Japan, US legal system, gender inequality

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