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Local Government and Bylaw of Formation of a Gender-equal Society : The Constituting Process of Nagano Prefecture's Bylaw

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  • Economics
  • Political Science


The Basic Law for Gender-equal Society was enacted in 1999 as the seventeenth basic law in Japan. It shows a formula to realize a gender-equal society and stipulates that local governments are responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies with regard to promoting the formation of a gender-equal society. As by law enacted, the prefectures shall establish prefectural plants for gender- equality. At the same time, as the law allowed local governments to have policies in accordance with the nature of their areas, the prefectures and their assemblies have begun to constitute, respectively, basic plans and bylaws which more or less reflect local circumstances. This essay attempts to clarity the constituting process of Nagano Prefecture's Bylaw for Making a Gender-equal Society and examine its characteristics. Due to the reluctance of the prefectural government and governors, the prefectural assembly started drafting the Bylaw first. Then, the prefectural government joined the drafting process. The activities of several related committees and hearings conducted in the prefecture enabled the bill to reflect local characteristics, such as the higher late of employment of women in Nagano prefecture. The bill initiated by both the local assembly ad government passed in 2002.

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