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Japan women in 30s stay in workforce as parental benefits improve

But many are only part-timers, leaving room for more progress

The percentage of women in Japan's labor force continues to rise, especially for 30-somethings. (Photo by Kei Higuchi)

TOKYO -- Women in their 30s in Japan continue to make progress in workforce participation, greatly flattening their once-pronounced M-shaped dip stemming from pressure to quit jobs and become stay-at-home mothers.

Among the working-age population, which starts at age 15, the percentage of women employed or actively looking for work has historically veered sharply lower for those in their 30s compared with women in their 20s or 40s.

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