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Japan's female labor force set to toss out M-curve

30- and 40-somethings are back at work in historic structural change

Female workers at a home for the elderly in Tokyo's Suginami Ward interact with their children at an onsite day care center during a break on Sept. 8.

TOKYO -- Graphics showing Japan's female labor force participation rate by age group have always looked like an M as women in their 30s and 40s leave the labor force then re-enter it. But the once-sharp M shape has softened into gentle curves in recent years.

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