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Feature LEANING IN - THE POWER OF WOMENOMICS - Masako Mori: Minister in charge of Support for Women’s Empowerment and Child-Rearing A Minister Interview: Masako Mori A heroine at the helm of a society where women shine TAMI KAWASAKI 16 | highlighting japan T the end of 2012, a new Japanese heroine was born with the appointment of Masako Mori as Minister in charge of Support for Women’s Empowerment and Child-Rearing. She paid her own way through university and became a lawyer, studying at the New York University School of Law and going on to work in Japan’s Financial Services Agency before becoming a member of the National Diet. She has tirelessly dedicated herself to the relief of the socially vulnerable throughout every stage of her career. Mori is also a working mother, succeeding in one of Japan’s top career paths even as she finds time to tweet pictures of the school lunches she makes for her two daughters each morning. I spoke to her about the Japanese government’s efforts toward promoting the empowerment of women. * * * ‘The active participation by women’ is being touted as a core of Growth Strategy. What are your thoughts on this? In order to revitalize the Japanese economy and recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake, we need to employ the latent power of women. 60 percent of women currently quit due to pregnancy and childbirth, and the number of women looking for work stands at 3.03 million. According to the IMF’s preliminary