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Kawaii culture hurts Japanese women in business

Baby animals are cute but female adults, especially in the workplace, need not be

| Japan
Hello Kitty embodies the Japanese concept of kawaii.   © NurPhoto/Getty Images

Nobuko Kobayashi is Ernst & Young -- Japan -- transaction advisory services managing director and partner.

Last year on November 1, Hello Kitty turned 45. Being squarely middle-aged does not bother the snow-white cartoon kitten, whose contribution to Sanrio, the company which designs her, ranges from theme parks to international licensing business.

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