Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Robert Larsen


In 1985 amid international and domestic pressure, Japan enacted the Equal Employment Opportunity Law (EEOL). Many viewed it as an era of change, one that would see Japanese women rise to equality with male co-workers. However, equal employment never materialized. Historical context and the experience of the 1985 EEOL provide insights into the future of gender equality in Japan.

This Note provides a brief description of the Japanese corporate world and a historical context of women in Japanese society. It identifies pressures, both domestic and international, that Japan faced prior to 1985 that led up to the EEOL. The 1985 EEOL and its subsequent revisions are discussed, and future prospects for gender equality in Japan are examined.