Tags: biden | kennedy | women | japan | husbands

Biden to Japanese Women: 'Do Your Husbands Like You Working?'

Wednesday, 04 Dec 2013 08:43 AM

By Melanie Batley

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During a tour of an Internet company in Japan Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden asked a group of women, "Do your husbands like you working full-time?"

Biden asked the question of five women while sitting with them in the cafeteria of Tokyo-based DeNa, a company founded by a woman and known for encouraging women to continue working through motherhood, according to The Wall Street Journal.



He also asked whether they could work from home. It wasn't clear if any of the women replied at the time.

The visit was intended to promote the role of women in the workforce, an initiative by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe who is looking to increase the participation of women in the workforce as part of his broader strategy to boost the ailing Japanese economy. In Japan, 60 percent of women never return to the workforce after giving birth, the Journal reported.

"I, too, compliment Prime Minister Abe on his initiatives to bring more women into the workforce, stay in the workforce and give them more opportunities," Biden said, according to the Journal.

Biden was accompanied during his visit by Caroline Kennedy, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, who last week said she was impressed with Abe's workforce policy initiative centered on women.

"I believe the prime minister understands that this is not just a women's issue. It's a men's issue. It's a family issue, an economic and a national security issue, and it's a moral issue," Kennedy said, according to the Journal.

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