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Following on from the discussion of gender equality in our July webinar, we are delighted to welcome Kathy Matsui, whose influential reports on ‘womenomics’ have shaped much Japanese government policy in recent years. Coinciding with the publication of the English language edition of his latest book, Japan’s Far More Female Future we have persuaded Bill Emmott to join Kathy in a two-header discussion on these important issues.
With its internationally extreme level of gender inequality, an ageing population and slow economic growth, what are the prospects for greater social justice and sustainable prosperity in Japan? How can the experience and achievements of the outliers, the notable female leaders who have succeeded in their fields, inform public policy and pave the way for future generations of women? Can and will Japan finally tap the potential of the human capital developed by its outstanding education system and the creativity and ambition of both women and men alike?
Kathy Matsui is vice chair of Goldman Sachs Japan, co-head of Macro Research in Asia and chief Japan equity strategist. She has been ranked the top equity strategy in Japan several times by Institutional Investor. In 2007, she was named one of the ’10 Women to Watch in Asia’ by The Wall Street Journal for her work on ‘womenomics’, starting with the groundbreaking 1999 research project, which identified investing in women as the key to creating stronger economies and a more equitable global society. In turn, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe incorporated Kathy Matsui’s womenomics research into his Abenomics reforms announced in 2012-13. She is a policy commentator for Japan’s Cabinet Office and has served on numerous Japanese government committees aimed at promoting gender diversity. Serving also on the board of the Asian University for Women, Kathy Matsui believes women’s education is the best investment for global peace and sustainable development.
Bill Emmott is an independent writer, lecturer and consultant on international affairs. He is a Fellow of Tokyo College, University of Tokyo’s interdisciplinary research institute, and was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in 2017-18. He also chairs the board of Trinity College Dublin’s Long Room Hub for the Arts & Humanities. He was previously the Editor-in-Chief of The Economist (1993-2006) and has written eight books on Japan, the first of which was The Sun Also Sets: Why Japan Will Not Be Number One (1989). His book on the future role of women in Japan’s economy, politics and society, was published in Japanese by Nikkei in 2019 and released in English as Japan’s Far More Female Future by Oxford University Press in September 2020. Bill has been Chairman of the Japan Society since January 2019.
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