The Council for Gender Equality and the Gender Equality Bureau, established within the Cabinet Office in January 2001, are the key bodies to promote gender mainstreaming in Japan. In 1999, the Japanese Government enacted the Basic Law for a Gender-Equal Society to expansively systematize its policies. Based on the Basic Law, the Cabinet decided the Basic Plan for Gender Equality containing 11 priority objectives such as expanding women’s participation in policy decision-making processes, supporting the efforts of women and men to harmonize work with their family and community life, and securing equal opportunities and treatment in the field of employment. These objectives describe the basic direction of long-term measures up until 2010, and cogent measures to be implemented before the end of fiscal 2005.Further information provided in the article “Women in Japan Today (2004)” is shown in http://www.gender.go.jp/english_contents/index.html
Currently, the Japanese government regards increasing the percentage of female leaders to at least 30% in every field of society by the year 2020 as the priority. To achieve gender equality, the government has been working on the enlargement of the recruitment and the promotion of female national public officers, and the promotion of the participation of women members in national advisory councils and committees. In addition, Japan puts emphasis on international cooperation and further enhancement of gender equality in the international community. For example, Japan holds the “Policy Dialogue on Gender Equality” every year to foster discussions in line with the multi-year work program of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.