The law enforcement institutions of Japan issued a statement on Tuesday that a new goal had been put in place to have female officers make up at least 10% of police forces by the year 2023, a significant increase from the current 6.8%. The National Police Agency and the National Public Safety Commission both looked at the effects of Japan’s continued decline in birthrate, and fear that in the future there may become less of an interest in working as a police officer.
In this year’s annual report from the two institutions, it was written that the active recruitment of, and promotion to senior positions of female officers needs to increase. This will not only lead to a revitalized police force, but also a higher quality of officers working to serve the public. Roughly 1,000 female police officers have been hired each year since 2002, with the total number currently employed standing at 17,700 as of this April. Out of that, only 242 have been promoted to senior positions like police inspector or higher, and 35 of those have become superintendents.
Positions related to traffic control used to be the most common that female officers were assigned to, but now they work in all fields of law enforcement, including specialty positions like supporting victims of sex crimes, and working as protective bodyguards. Thankfully this report at least addresses the main problems that face Japanese women who wish to remain in the workforce. While specifics aren’t mentioned, law enforcement institutions say that the work environment must become more welcoming for female officers, such as offering time off and subsidies for child care. The unfortunate standard in Japan is that once women have children they are essentially forced out of employment, and there is often little to no leniency in hiring mothers with children at home.
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