Many Japanese women find it difficult to advance professionally because of the country's long-held gender biases. While men are traditionally given high-paying managerial positions, women are left with short-term clerical jobs. However, recent studies have shown that limiting the employment opportunities of females has had negative economic consequences. It is estimated that a population decline will cause huge labor shortages in Japan over the next 50 years. However even faced with these realties, officials in Japan still seem reluctant to expand the role of women in the economy.
See Howard W. French, The New York Times, July 24, 2003