This content was published in the period between 3 October 2014 and 20 January 2019

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.

Gender equality and children in focus as Åsa Regnér visits Japan

Published

Gender equality and children were in focus when Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality Åsa Regnér visited Japan on 13–16 October. During her visit, Ms Regnér had talks with Japanese government representatives and members of parliament and also took part in a roundtable discussion on gender equality.

  • Blond female recieves flowers from japanese child.

    “We visited the preschool that is located in a home for elderly people. Interaction between the generations is important,” says Ms Regnér.

    Photo: Marielle Nakunzi/Government Offices

  • Blond famale shaking hands with elderly japanese lady.

    “At the home for the elderly we met a couple who had chosen to live in separate rooms,” says Ms Regnér.

    Photo: Marielle Nakunzi/Government Offices

  • Japanese and european woman having a conversation. In the background you see orchids.

    Ms Regnér talked with Keiko Takegawa, Director-General of the Gender Equality Bureau Cabinet Office. Their discussions concerned details of the Japanese Government’s efforts to bolster gender equality.

    Photo: Marielle Nakunzi/Government Offices

  • Three ladies and two gentlemen standing in front of a window with blinds.

    Participants of the group that on Wednesday discussed opportunities for cooperation within the framework of UN Resolution 1325. From left: Ambassador Magnus Robach, Akiko Yamanaka, Special Ambassador for Peacebuilding, Åsa Regner, Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality, Satoshi Suzuki, Deputy Director-General, European Affairs Bureau and Marielle Nakunzi, Political Adviser.

    Photo: Government Offices

UN, gender equality and elderly housing

Ms Regnér began the day on Friday by visiting the UN Women Japan Liaison Office.

“I met with Director Kayoko Fukushima and we discussed the need for countries to preserve UN funding. We also spoke about the UN HeforShe campaign,” says Ms Regnér.

Ms Regnér later visited a home for elderly people in Shinjuku, where she spoke with some of the residents. In talks with local politicians and officials, Ms Regnér learned about the conditions and challenges facing care of the elderly in Japan. This home for elderly people has a sister home in Vendelsö.

“At the home for the elderly we met an older couple who had chosen to live in separate rooms. We also visited the preschool located on the premises. Interaction between the generations is important,” says Ms Regnér.

During a discussion on gender equality, organised by the Swedish Embassy and Yomiuri newspaper, participants talked about wider gender equality issues from the Japanese and Swedish perspectives in the business world and public sector.

The day ended with the ‘Kids Week’ event, hosted by Business Sweden and the Embassy, at which Ms Regnér spoke about children’s rights, equality and future cooperation between Japan and Sweden.

Finally, Ms Regnér presented the ‘Most stylish dad’ award in support of paternity leave and men’s participation in the lives of their children.

Progressive reforms in Japan are important

On Thursday morning, Ms Regnér met Japan’s newly appointed Minister of State for Gender Equality Katsunobu Kato. The ministers discussed women’s participation in the labour market and opportunities for future collaboration between Japan and Sweden.

“Sweden’s relations with Japan are important from a promotional perspective and as a partner in areas such as elderly care and gender equality. Japan is at a crossroads with an ageing population. Gender equality and women’s increasing labour force participation are central to many issues. What is happening in Japan is significant for the rest of the world, and progressive reforms here will play an important role. In Japan there is great interest in Sweden, and we are interested in learning from each other,” says Ms Regnér.

Ms Regnér gave the opening address at a seminar on children’s literature in the afternoon, with the aim of supporting Swedish children’s literature but also presenting the Swedish view of children’s rights.

Speech by Minister for Children Åsa Regnér on children’s literature in Tokyo, October 2015

Common interests in the UN Security Council

On Wednesday, Ms Regnér took part in roundtable discussions on the importance of highlighting the significance of UN Resolution 1325. Participants discussed opportunities for how Japan and Sweden can cooperate concerning women, peace and security from the perspective of Sweden and Japan taking seats as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. Participants focused the discussions on suggestions that could be highlighted and further developed at a later stage.

“We spoke about future cooperation in the Security Council on women’s participation in conflict resolution and post-conflict work,” says Ms Regnér.

Cooperation with Japan developed further

The introductory meetings on Tuesday were productive. Both delegations stated in the discussions that cooperation should be developed.

The Swedish delegation met politicians, entrepreneurs and stakeholder organisations, and also visited some workplaces.

Gender equality and women’s participation in the labour market were the main focus of discussions.

“I am very pleased that there has been a strong focus on gender equality and women’s participation in the labour market during our visit,” says Ms Regnér.

Press release: Gender equality and children’s rights issues in focus during Åsa Regnér’s visit to Japan

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.

Ministers on this page who have left the Government

Between 3 October 2014 and 8 March 2018 she was Minister for Children, the Elderly and Gender Equality.