The Straits Times
Published on Oct 13, 2012

Women could save Japan's economy: IMF's Lagarde


TOKYO (AFP) - Women could rescue Japan's chronically underperforming economy if more of them went to work, the female director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Saturday.

Ms Christine Lagarde said Japan's shrinking and greying workforce, which has left the country struggling to pay welfare bills, could really benefit from an injection of female talent.

"Because there is this ageing problem, we believe that women could actually help very much," Ms Lagarde told reporters in Tokyo, where the IMF is holding its annual meetings.

"It's critically important the world over, but it's particularly important in Japan," she said, referring to IMF research on the role of women in the country "that indicates that women could actually save Japan".