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Former Minister of Education, Ms. Yoshiko Akamatsu, who devoted herself to the establishment of the Act on Equal Employment Opportunities between Men and Women and also promoted educational reforms, has passed away at the age of 94.

Ms. Ryoko Akamatsu, who served as the Minister of Education from a private sector position and devoted herself to the establishment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law, has passed away. She was 94 years old.

From her position as a labor bureaucrat, Ms. Akamatsu dedicated herself to the enactment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Law. In a society where there was initially a significant disparity in the treatment of men and women, she called for equal opportunities, and played a role in creating their foundation. Her influence was such that she was referred to as the ‘Mother of the Equal Act’ for her achievements.

She subsequently served as Minister of Education under the Hosokawa and Hata administrations. Her work greatly influenced Japan’s educational reform and she promoted progressive educational policies. Moreover, as the President of Japan UNICEF, her leadership helped raise interest and support for improving the welfare of children domestically and internationally.

Furthermore, Ms. Akamatsu greatly influenced the advancement of women in society and played a leading role in its promotion. Her passion and energy continued to give hope and courage to many women and greatly contributed to the improvement of their status.

Upon receiving news of Ms. Ryoko Akamatsu’s death, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshitoshi Mori expressed his condolences at a press conference, stating, ‘We once again express our respect for her achievements.’ The death of Ms. Akamatsu, who has worked tirelessly for education and the advancement of women’s rights, represents a significant loss for Japanese society. We extend our deepest sympathies.


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