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Continued: Japan seeks to boost its economy by getting women (back) to work

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  • Last update: August 26, 2013 - 8:56 PM

Even so, she and most other experts think change will come very slowly.

The pressure to quit that Tachibana experienced is illegal in Japan, just as it is in many other countries. Japanese law guarantees pregnant women six weeks of leave before birth and eight weeks after, and some companies allow up to three years of maternity leave.

But reality doesn’t work that way at many companies, especially smaller ones.

Tachibana said she could have complained publicly or taken the case to arbitration or court, but few Japanese women do that because of cultural resistance and the stigma attached to such disputes.

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  • Risa Kumabe, 26, would like to return to work, but finds the cost of child care in Tokyo, along with housework, standing in her way.

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