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Business trends

Japan falls behind on women in boardrooms as Europe makes strides

Lack of diversity at top threatens to drive away ESG-focused investors

Women make up 12.6% of board seats in Japan -- significantly less than in other developed economies. (Photo by Nozomu Ogawa)

FRANKFURT/TOKYO -- Japan is struggling to place more women on corporate boards even as Europe and Asian hubs like Hong Kong make progress, dealing a potential blow to Tokyo's ambition to become a center of global finance.

Women held 12.6% of board seats across major Japanese companies in 2021, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The figure is even lower among constituents of the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Prime market, at 9.3%.

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