APDA The Asian Population and Development AssociationAPDA The Asian Population and Development Association

INTERVIEW

We have been discussing legislation of a comprehensive law on women’s health at the Women’s Affairs Division for the last several years.

Member of the House of Representatives
Vice-Chair of JPFPGender Issues Committee
Hon. Karen Makishima https://makishimakaren.com/

Surrounded by nature with its mountains, rivers, and the sea, my constituency (Kanagawa Prefecture’s 17th electoral district) is facing the effects of population decline, low fertility and population ageing, especially in issues related to health and nursing care services, education, and parenting support.

Meanwhile, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we are flexibly implementing measures that are suited to the local situation.

In terms of education, due to relatively smaller classes, we can afford to distribute tablets to all students at schools, and teachers can pay attention to detail in their instruction to students.

In terms of employment, the concept of “workation” has drawn much attention lately. Leveraging the advantages our community has in being located near Tokyo and having many hot springs, we believe we can increase the number of people who settle in our community if in addition to tourists and visitors, we can increase the number of people who are in one or another loosely “associated” with our community.

As for measures for community development, we have introduced the Special Approval School System to enable students to attend schools from outside of their designated school districts. The system has also prompted schools to develop new distinguishing features in education. Involvement of children from outside school districts has had an effect to revitalize local communities with various new ideas, such as involving more children in local festivals.

As for parliamentarian legislation related to the issue of population, we have been discussing at the Women’s Affairs Division, which is a national organization within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), legislation of a comprehensive law on women’s health for the last several years. As a person in charge, I drafted the outlines of the law and presented it to Hon. Seiko Hashimoto, Minister in charge of Women’s Empowerment, and Hon. Fumio Kishida, Chair of the Policy Research Council of LDP, in July. I believe that this law will provide a very important foundation for women to fulfill their potential in society.

Interviewed in September 2020

※The titles shown are those held at the time of interview.

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