Last year Japan´s Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi caused a sensation with the announcement of a two-week paternity leave. He is the first Japanese cabinet minister to take childcare leave, after the birth of his son. The then 38-year-old explained that he hopes his decision would encourage other new fathers to follow his example and also take paternity leave.
Despite having one of the most generous allowance in the world, new fathers rarely take paternity leave in Japan. That is why late last year, the Japanese Government proposed a revision of the Child Care Leave laws to encourage men to take paternity leave. The Government, which has been struggling with the country’s declining birth rate has stated that they want to increase the overall ratio of men taking paternity leave from 7% to 30% by 2025. They believe that that by promoting paternity leave right after childbirth will help reduce the number of mothers suffering from postnatal depression.
Paid childcare leave available to fathers
Source: 2019 UNICEF report on family-friendly policies
The proposed new law would:
allow men to take up to 4 weeks paternity leave in the first 8 weeks of childbirth,
require large companies to publish the rate of workers taking paternity leave
entitle part time workers to apply for paternity leave