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  1. What Kinds of Work Do People Do in Japan?
  2. Where Men and Women Work in Japan
  3. Reviving Basic Industries in Postwar Japan
  4. Japan’s Shipbuilding Industry
  5. Mining: An Industry in Decline
  6. Industrial Policy and Depressed Industries
  7. Consumer Goods Industries
  8. Small Firms in the Japanese Economy
  9. Links Between Large and Small Firms
  10. The Japanese Electronics Industry
  11. Beginning of the Japanese Automobile Industry
  12. The Rise of the Japanese Auto Industry and Auto Exports
  13. The Mobile Telephone Industry
  14. The Computer Game Industry
  15. Shopping Habits and Retail Stores
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A couple in a greenhouse pose with boxes of flowers
The Tateishis are farmers in Fukui Prefecture.
Photo Courtesy of SFV Farm.
Where Men and Women Work in Japan
Women comprise just under 40% of the Japanese labor force, and that percentage has not changed much over the past fifty years. However, the patterns of work in the three major employment sectors are different for men and women, and both have changed over time. In 1950, about four in every ten men (40.4%) were working in the primary sector, mostly in agriculture. Six in every ten women (61.4%) in the labor force were working in agriculture. Another big difference was found in the secondary sector, where three in ten working men (29.6%) but only 13.1% of working women were employed. About a quarter of working men (27.2%) and working women (25.4%) were in the service sector. By the year 2000, both men and women had moved out of agriculture. Only 4.8% of working men and 5.4% of working women were working in the primary sector, but the rest had moved to different parts of the labor force. By 2000, a third of working men (35.9%) but only a fifth (20.2%) of working women were employed in the secondary sector of mining, construction, and manufacturing industries. By contrast, nearly three quarters of working women (73.2%) but less than six in ten men (58.2%) were employed in the service sector.
Special Terms: service sector

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