Nagoya is the biggest city in Aichi Prefecture, which is located almost in the center of Japan, mainly engages in the manufacturing industry, and plays an important role in supporting Japanese economy. Aichi Prefecture’s GDP in 2017 accounted for 7% of Japan’s GDP, ranking second among 47 prefectures after Tokyo. The Japanese global major manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corporation and BROTHER INDUSTRIES, LTD., were founded in Aichi Prefecture.
DEVNET JAPAN established its new branch in Nagoya. The opening ceremony was held on October 20th, 2020. Ms. Shoko Tamaoki, CEO of Mugen Co., Ltd., was appointed as the Branch Director, and Ms.Yuko Yoshikawa, Executive Director of Mugen Co., Ltd., was appointed as the Secretary General. At the opening ceremony, about 100 people from political and business circles and various organizations from all over the country gathered, and five guests gave congratulatory speeches.
DEVNET Japan is responsible for the domestic activity in Japan of DEVNET International (hereinafter referred to as DEVNET), which is certified as “General Consultative Status” by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). With the relocation of the Headquarters from Rome to Tokyo and the appointment of Mr. Fumiyasu Akegawa as Chairman,DEVNET has been preparing to establish branches in Japan and overseas. In the midst of partial interruptions due to the COVID-19, the Nagoya Branch recently became the first one to be opened.
The Nagoya Branch of DEVNET JAPAN has started working to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment, with particular emphasis on Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
UNDP pursued the creation of the Technological Information Pilot System (TIPS) as the responsible agency for Technological Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), initially joined by Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, India, Italy, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Zambia. UNDP and these countries established DEVNET International in 1985 as the operating agency of TIPS with the headquarters in Rome, and designated Dr. Roberto Savio (the founder of DEVNET) as its chairman. Devnet has expanded its operations globally with the leadership of Dr. Roberto Savio. One of the successful projects is “WINNER” , which Devnet had carried on in order to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment until 2010.
Mr. Akegawa has great expectations for the achievement of the Goal 5 from Ms.Tamaoki, who has been engaged in international goodwill activities in 65 countries around the world, while developing her own healthy food business. It is because Japan is behind in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment compared to other countries.
In the 2019 statistics update of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Gender Inequality
Index (GII), Japan’s score was 0.099, ranking 23rd out of 162 countries in the world.
On the other hand, according to “Global Gender Gap Report 2020” released in 2019 by the World Economic Forum, the Gender Gap Index (GGI), which measures the gender gap in each country, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Nicaragua are ranked 1st to 5th with the smallest gender gap. Japan’s total score is 0.652, ranking 121st out of 153 countries (previously 110th out of 149 countries), the lowest ever. In addition, Germany is 10th, France is 15th, Canada is 19th, the United Kingdom is 21st, the United States is 53rd, and Italy is 76th. Japan is by far the lowest among the G7 countries. China is 106th and South Korea is 108th, higher than Japan.
It can be seen that Japan is far behind other countries in terms of the index of gender disparity. Actually, in Japanese society, gender equality is gradually progressing, and women’s rights are significantly improved compared to the past, but social changes toward gender equality are progressing much faster in other countries. Therefore, the reality is that Japan is being left behind from the world.
Currently, the Japanese government has established the “SDGs Implementation Guiding Principles” consisting in the “8 Priority Areas” by 2030 in order to promote the SDGs. The first areas is “1. Realization of gender equality and a society where every person can play an active role”. In addition, as concrete initiatives to be implemented in 2020, “SDGs Action Plan 2020” was formulated by Japanese government, which includes three main pillars , “Business and Innovation“, “Regional Revitalization”, and “Empowerment of the Next Generations and Women”.
Japanese government regards promoting the promotion of women’s activities as one of the important items.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) have worked on the Nadeshiko Brand initiative as the cooperative activity in order to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment together. The Nadeshiko Brands is an initiative aiming to introduce to investors certain TSE-listed enterprises that are outstanding in terms of encouraging women’s success in the workplace as attractive investing targets that emphasize improving corporate value in the mid- and long-term, thereby further attracting attention of investors to such enterprises’ efforts for women’ s success in the workplace and further accelerating such efforts by listed enterprises. METI and the TSE have been conducting this initiative since 2012.
To reform the workplace atmosphere in private companies on gender gap is as important as the government’s legislation and strengthening of the
In Japan, the private sectors are now required to cooperate with each other and make every effort to create a society where all women and men are respected for their human rights, and can fully perform their individuality and abilities.
At the opening ceremony of the Nagoya branch, Mr.Hiroshi Nomura, CEO of Sakura Mirai Resources Co., Ltd., who has had a relationship with Ms. Tamaoki for nearly 30 years, praised her continued efforts toward the independence of women. Mr. Sunao Kodama, CEO of DATAMAX Co., Ltd., praised her past activities, and encouraged her to attract young people by showing how she has been contributing to society while generating profits.
Ms. Tamaoki has been involved in volunteer work around the world for 40 years. She said,” I feel empowered when I am doing something useful for others. When we work with our partners, there is nothing impossible”. She vowed to work on the some initiatives actively in the Nagoya branch.
Nagoya City currently has sister-friendly city tie-ups with Los Angeles, Mexico City, Nanjing, Sydney, Turin and Reims, and has strived to promote mutual understanding and friendship through people interacting with each other in various fields such as culture, education, sports and economy. DEVNET Nagoya branch will not only be active in Japan, but will also build friendly relations with these sister cities and work toward various initiatives with them to achieve the SDGs.
DEVNET is steadily preparing for next establishment of the Thai branch, Qingdao branch in China, and Osaka branch in Japan.