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FY 2019 Japan female civil servant recruits hit record 35.4 percent

In this May 30, 2014 file photo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and Tomomi Inada, then minister in charge of the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs, set up a signboard of the newly launched bureau in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Pool photo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japanese government said Friday that women accounted for a record 35.4 percent of newly hired civil servants in fiscal 2019, hitting its target of keeping the ratio above 30 percent for the fifth straight year.

The central government hired a total of 8,123 individuals for fiscal 2019, of which 2,876 were female. The ratio of women rose 1.4 percentage points from a year earlier and surpassed the previous high of 34.5 percent in fiscal 2016, according to the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs.

Of the overall new recruits, 708 were employed as career-track bureaucrats, including 245 women, or 34.6 percent of the total, another record high.

By ministry and agency, the Foreign Ministry had the highest proportion of female recruits at 50.0 percent, followed by the farm ministry at 43.4 percent and the health ministry at 42.5 percent.

However, the proportion of female recruits at the land ministry and the National Public Safety Commission was 25.7 percent and 27.0 percent, respectively, staying below the national goal of 30 percent.

"We'd like to provide a working environment friendly to women and continue our efforts to increase female recruits," said Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, minister in charge of civil service reform.

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