Field notes

The struggle of Japan's working mums

The Japanese government says children are national treasures, yet age-old ideas of motherhood conflict with work-day needs

When Ms Yuka Ogata, 42, a lawmaker in the Kumamoto municipal assembly, brought her seven-month-old boy to a parliamentary sitting last November, her male colleagues kicked up such a fuss that proceedings were delayed by 40 minutes.

Hers is just one example of the pressures that Japanese women face in the workplace, especially in juggling employment with raising a child.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2018, with the headline 'The struggle of Japan's working mums'. Print Edition | Subscribe