Japan's Lower House to survey gender equality in Diet

Japan's Lower House of the Diet plans a questionnaire on women's participation in politics as the country largely lags behind in female representation in national parliaments.

In Japan, female lawmakers account for only 9.7 percent of all those elected in last year's Lower House election.

A survey by the Inter-Parliamentary Union shows that as of April 1, Japan ranked 166th among 188 countries surveyed in terms of the ratios of women in lower or single houses of parliament.

The Japanese Lower House has decided to ask all parliamentarians and political parties about what measures they have taken to promote female participation in politics.

The 58-item questionnaire includes questions on whether they think the number of female lawmakers in the Japanese Diet is satisfactory, whether they think an initiative is needed to secure a certain number of female lawmakers, and whether they think lawmakers need to take maternity and childcare leaves.

It also asks political parties whether their platforms value gender equality and whether they think the proportion of female executive members in their parties is sufficient.

The Lower House plans to present findings from the anonymous survey during the current Diet session.