Female researchers are an extremely important resource for Japan’s science and technology industry. In recognition of this fact, the government is implementing policies with the aim of strengthening the retaining and fostering of women coming through in this area. Despite this, however, the proportion of female researchers in Japan is comparatively low by international standards, and the goal of 25% set in the Third Science and Technology Basic Plan (2011) fell well short at 13.6%, though the goal for the Fourth Science and Technology Basic Plan is set even higher at 30%. Particularly in recent years, Korea has been overtaking Japan in this respect (despite having previously ranked lower on gender equality) by using strong policies, and in a survey of various countries (Cabinet Office White Paper on Gender Equality) Japan ranked at the bottom, at 13.8% compared with Korea at 15.6%.
Due to this state of affairs, cross-country research (and in particular research focusing on east Asia) that has not been previously undertaken was conducted with the aim of encouraging policies relating to the employment and treatment of female researchers. In collecting and analyzing this data, it is hoped that proposals relating to the new problems facing female researchers can be produced. Furthermore, by building the foundations for a cross-institutional platform for carrying out research, it is hoped that the consolidation of activities relating to promoting discussion of the problems facing female researchers in Japan can be achieved in an ongoing manner.
The reports for this research will be released as they are compiled.