Koizumi Takes 12 Days of Paternal Leave

Politics Society

Tokyo, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi said Monday he has taken a total of 12 days of paternal leave since his first child was born in mid-January.

He revealed this at a meeting with male employees of the Environment Ministry who are starting to take paternal leave or planning to do so, and their boss.

Koizumi appears to be taking time off for his baby boy at a pace faster than he initially planned. On Jan. 15, two days before the birth of the baby, he said he plans to secure about two weeks of paternal leave in total during a three-month period.

Taking time off work for child-rearing "is helping me review my own work style," Koizumi said. "I'm enjoying taking care of my child very positively."

In April, the Japanese government will start encouraging male government employees to take at least one month of paternal leave. At Monday's meeting, Koizumi said he wants senior government officials to redouble efforts for changing the work environments to allow employees to take as much time off as they wish for their children.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press