Japan

With the majority of Japanese women continuing to bear the primary responsibility for household duties, most don’t see an improvement in their work-life balance in the past year, compared to other women in the broader APAC region. Also, more working-age Japanese women do not want to work at all.

Insights Summary

The majority of Japanese women who use the internet are online on a daily basis. While they rely on the internet for information through search, email, and news content, they don’t take full advantage of online tools and resources to get tasks done.

With women primarily responsible for household chores and childcare, the difficulty of balancing work and home life is a major barrier to full-time work. Wider adoption of online productivity tools could help keep more women in the workforce.

Working mothers show the highest level of interest in online education. With this comes opportunities to reinforce their motivation to learn new skills online and use technology to improve their lives.

Internet Usage

In Japan, nearly all internet users are online daily, and men and women connect equally. However, they do a smaller variety of activities than average users across the Asia Pacific region.

“How often do you personally access the internet?”
Country Women Men
Korea 100% 95%
Japan 99% 99%
Malaysia 99% 98%
Australia 97% 95%
Thailand 96% 95%
Vietnam 95% 93%
Philippines 64% 60%
India 52% 62%
Indonesia 48% 61%
Base: Internet users
Number of different daily online activities
Country Women Men
Japan 6.2 6.8
APAC 11 12

Younger women have a larger number of daily online activities, but the variety of women's activities declines with age.

“How often do you typically do each of these internet activities?”
Age groups Women Men
18-29 8.4 7.6
30-39 6.3 6.4
40-55 4.8 6.7

Compared to women across the region, Japanese women use the internet more frequently for search, email, and news content. However, they don’t take full advantage of online tools and resources to get tasks done.

Daily online activities
Activity APAC Japan
Use a search engine 61% 73%
Send or receive email 58% 74%
Go to sites or apps for news, weather, sports and articles 43% 51%
Creating and sharing documents 22% 8%
Communicate via video 18% 6%

Work

Japanese women are less willing to work full time, and show a higher preference for part-time work, compared to women in similar markets in the region. Very few Japanese are interested in starting their own businesses; their entrepreneurial spirit is the lowest among surveyed countries.

“Thinking 5 years from now, what do you intend to be doing from a work point of view?”
Full-time for an organization Part-time for an organization Self-employed Not working Don’t know
Japan 39% 22% 6% 20% 13%
Australia 48% 19% 19% 5% 9%
Korea 61% 10% 14% 3% 12%
Base: Ages 25-34

Women are more likely to believe that people should have an equal chance at getting a job, but less likely to feel it is actually true.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
“People should have an equal chance to obtain a job regardless of gender.” Japan APAC
Women 65% 85%
Men 58% 80%
“People do have an equal chance to obtain a job regardless of gender.” Japan APAC
Women 33% 69%
Men 41% 72%
Base: All

Compared to people in the broader Asia Pacific region, Japanese people – and men in particular – are less likely to believe that men and women should share household and childcare responsibilities.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
“Men and women should both take responsibility for child-rearing.” Japan APAC
Women 69% 86%
Men 57% 80%
“Men and women should both take responsibility for household chores.” Japan APAC
Women 67% 85%
Men 58% 78%
Base: All

More women report that they’re mainly responsible for household and child-rearing duties. However, men are much more likely to feel that they share these responsibilities.

“Who is mainly responsible for taking care of your child/children?”
group Myself My partner / spouse Split between myself and partner Others
Women 71% 10% 19% 0%
Men 20% 37% 40% 3%
Base: Married and have child/children
“Who is mainly responsible for the daily chores in your household?”
group Myself My partner / spouse Split between myself and partner Another family member
Women 87% 8% 4% 0%
Men 7% 64% 28% 1%
Base: Married

Fewer Japanese women report work-life balance improvements in the past year.

“Comparing your situation at work to one year ago, how would you describe your balance between work and life?”
Better Same Worse Don’t know
Japan 15% 53% 17% 15%
APAC 33% 48% 13% 6%
Base: employed women

Employed mothers are looking for flexible work hours when choosing a job.

Percentage of people who say flexible work hours are a top factor in choosing a job
  • Women:27%
  • Men:12%
  • Employed mothers:42%
Base: All

Japanese workers are less interested in technologies that would enable more flexible work styles, and use them at a lower rate than workers in similar markets.

“What is your level of engagement with video conferencing technology at your workplace?”
Japan Korea Australia
Aware 48% 69% 84%
Interested in 21% 34% 37%
Using 15% 13% 25%
Base: Employed, previously employed.
“What is your level of engagement with file-sharing technology at your workplace?”
Japan Korea Australia
Aware 42% 74% 72%
Interested in 30% 49% 49%
Using 22% 35% 34%
Base: Employed, previously employed.

Online Learning

Similar to lower rates of technology usage at work, there is also a lower level of interest in online education in Japan.

Countries Women Men
Vietnam 76% 72%
Thailand 69% 70%
Malaysia 52% 54%
Korea 50% 42%
India 49% 54%
Indonesia 49% 48%
Australia 48% 43%
Philippines 33% 34%
Japan 18% 26%

Both women and men see cost as a barrier for online learning, but lack of time is an even bigger barrier for women who have children.

“Which of the following reasons relate to why you would not like to study online?”
“It is too expensive.” Men Women Mother
28% 31% 38%
“I do not have the time to study.” Men Women Mother
18% 30% 42%
Base: Not interested in studying online

Japanese people – and women especially – believe the internet is more suitable for informal education than formal education.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
Women Men
“The internet is the best place to go when you want to learn something informal – such as a recipe.” 67% 55%
“The internet is the best place to go to learn something formal – such as a course or type of study.” 43% 45%

Although women’s interest in online education is low, employed mothers are much more interested in it, and are more motivated to pursue both formal and informal studies.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements
Likely to consider studying online Women Mothers Employed mothers
18% 22% 28%
“Thinking ahead for the next five years, which of these, if any, do you anticipate you might do?”
Ttake a course to learn more about a hobby or area of interest Women Mothers Employed mothers
Yes 11% 17% 24%
Take a course for further education Women Mothers Employed mothers
Yes 28% 32% 40%
Take a course for career/business development Women Mothers Employed mothers
Yes 17% 21% 30%
Base: All

Gaining practical skills is the biggest reason that people are interested in online learning. Women are more likely to look for personal achievement and confidence, while men prefer to deepen their knowledge.

“What would you say were the main outcomes you were looking to get from an online course?”
Women Men
Practical skills 55% 52%
Self-fulfillment 45% 27%
Personal confidence 44% 29%
Knowledge 25% 43%
Base: Interested in online education

Women and men alike are interested in studying business online.

“Which of these courses would you be interested in studying online?”
  • Women
    • Business:1
    • Health Sciences & Nutrition:2
    • Beauty:3
  • Men
    • Business:1
    • Administration:2
    • Finance:3
Base: Interested in online education

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