Minister Koizumi Will Take Paternity Leave

Minister Koizumi will take paternity leave

Japan's Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi will take childcare leave after the upcoming birth of his first baby.

When he assumed the post last September, Koizumi said he didn't want to leave everything up to his wife. He said he wanted to do more in the household.

Japan offers childcare leave for fathers, but very few use it. The health and labor ministry says in 2018 over 80 percent of new mothers took childcare leave, but only 6 percent of fathers did.

Koizumi said that society's attitude toward childcare needs to change. He also emphasized that more fathers should be allowed to play greater roles at home.

The minister says he wants to take the leave as long as it will not affect his work.

He plans to take a total of two weeks' leave in the three-month period after the baby's birth by shortening his working hours and by teleworking.

He is also thinking about asking the parliamentary vice-ministers and other officials to do work on his behalf.