Japan's environment minister Koizumi to take paternity leave

Japan's environment minister Koizumi to take paternity leave

Baku, January 15, AZERTAC

Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said Wednesday he will take paternity leave after the birth of his first child scheduled for later this month in what is believed to be an unprecedented move by a Cabinet member, according to Kyodo news agency.

The 38-year-old son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will take a total of two weeks off during the first three months after his child is born by working shorter hours, telecommuting and having his subordinates shoulder some of his work, according to sources close to him.

The minister will still attend regular Diet sessions and deal with other critical events. Koizumi expressed his hope to "create an environment in which (fathers) in the Environment Ministry can also take childcare leave without hesitation."

Government data show the rate of men taking child care leave in Japan stood at 6.16 percent in fiscal 2018, far less than the 82.2 percent of women. The government hopes to raise the rate among men to 13 percent in the public and private sectors this year.

"We hope the minister's efforts will have a positive influence on facilitating men's involvement in child-rearing in both the public and private sectors," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

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