Abstract

In recent years, Japanese family policy has shifted from policies that reinforce traditional gender roles to policies that enable women to balance work and family. This article focuses on the political economy of maternity leave, parental leave, and childcare policy in the postwar period prior to changes in the 1990s. The analysis reveals that while traditional views of women's caregiving roles dominated the political agenda, they were subject to a more flexible interpretation when the economic needs of the family or society warranted it. Specifically, labor shortages, the demand for female labor, and the electoral fortunes of the Liberal Democratic Party were key factors driving the expansion of publicly funded childcare and leave legislation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1549-4721
Print ISSN
0095-6848
Pages
pp. 1-28
Launched on MUSE
2007-02-08
Open Access
No
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