With Japan facing an aging population and a looming labor shortage, more investors see opportunities in the country's planned structural changes to lure women into the workforce.
Despite expectations Japan's population will decline over the next few decades, the country's outlook can still be positive as more women begin to enter the workforce, said Miyuki Kashima, head of Japanese equity investment at BNY Mellon Asset Management.
"If you actually have half the population who hasn't really contributed to society, even if they wanted to, then there's potential for growth," she said.
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Increasing the number of women in the workforce has become a key plank in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's strategy, dubbed Abenomics, for kickstarting Japan's long-moribund economy out of a decades-long struggle with inflation.
Abe has said he wants Japan to change its "pervasive male-oriented thinking." He plans to ensure at least 30 percent of the national government's hires are women and is working to expand day-care facilities around the country.
"I'm not quite sure if Abe is actually pro-women," Kashima said, but she added he appears to be on the right track. "We really need more participation of women in the workforce for the growth strategy to be successful," Kashima said. "Japan has already started on this project of increasing more daycare facilities; they're filling up very quickly."