A record high percentage of Japan's male government officials took childcare leave in the fiscal year that ended in March.
Japan's National Personnel Authority reported that 1,350 men engaged in clerical work took the leave last fiscal year, up about 160 from the previous fiscal year.
The government has seen an upward trend for six consecutive years. It's the first time the number has reached 21.6 percent. The ratio rose four times higher compared to four years ago.
But 72 percent took leave of just a month or less. Those who took longer than one month accounted for 28 percent.
The Japanese government allows all national employees working for central agencies and other public offices to take childcare leave until their children turn three years old.
Officials at Japan's National Personnel Authority say the increase is a result of the government's efforts to create a better environment to encourage more fathers to take childcare leave.