The Japanese gender gap
Posted by ampontan on Monday, December 27, 2010
POLITICOS in the United States pay close attention to what some perceive as a gender gap in political preferences. Polls show that in general, women tend to favor the Democratic Party of the left in percentages higher than those for men.
There’s a gender gap in Japan, too, but some might be surprised to learn that the political preferences of Japanese women are different from women in America. Traditionally, women here have tended to support the Liberal Democratic Party on the right over the Democratic Party on the left. That has changed in recent years, but as a recently released Mainichi Shimbun poll conducted on 20 and 21 November shows, women are still less likely to support the policies conducive to big government than men.
Here are some of the questions and the responses broken down by sex.
* Do you support the Kan Cabinet?
* Which party do you support?
Liberal Democratic Party
Women tend to be more enthusiastic about a grand coalition with the LDP when asked about that possibility.
* The Kan Cabinet is trying to strengthen ties with other parties to deal with gridlock in the Diet caused by its lack of a majority in the upper house. Which other party do you think should be the primary partner of the DPJ?
As for a party of the left led by a woman:
* The Kan Cabinet plans to add JPY 7,000 to the monthly child allowance payments from the government next fiscal year for those families with children younger than three years old. Families with children currently receive JPY 13,000 per month per child. Do you approve or disapprove of the additional amount?
* Do you approve or disapprove of an increase in the consumption tax rate?
* Do you think the North Korean shelling of a South Korean island, in which four civilians were killed, threatens the peace and security of Japan?
That women tend to be more conservative about government expenditures, even when they stand to directly benefit from entitlements, might be due to the traditional Japanese custom of women handling the household finances.
Some people maintain that the Japanese are natural social democrats. It’s clear that they’ll have to find some figures other than these to make that claim stick.
Maybe mothers have been talking to their daughters.