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Home » Archives » December 2006 » Nearly half of Japanese Fathers Short of Time with Kids

Nearly half of Japanese Fathers Short of Time with Kids

Wednesday, December 20, 2006 Posted: 12:15 AM JST

About 40 percent of Japanese fathers have problems securing time with their children, according to the FY2005 international survey of education at home released on August 1, 2006, by the National Women's Education Center, Japan.

The survey aimed to ascertain the current status of parents and children, including their daily lives, discipline and anticipation of children, parents' work-life balance and child-raising support. The center surveyed 1,000 parents or other eligible adults who lived with and were raising children aged 12 years or below in each of six countries: Japan, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, the United States, France and Sweden. It released the results after comparing them to a similar study in 1994.

According to the results, the average Japanese father spent 3.1 hours with children on a weekday compared to 3.3 hours in the study of 1994. About 40 percent of fathers were concerned about the short time spent with children. The research revealed that child discipline by Japanese parents and child independence were at low levels.

With regard to answers on needed improvements for child-raising, playgrounds topped the lists of Japanese, Korean, American and French parents alike. Second among Japanese respondents was financial support, which showed a drastic increase to 49 percent of respondents from 31 percent in 1994. The results also showed that Japanese and Korean people generally have little experience taking care of children before becoming parents, and tend to rely on tips about child rearing provided by books and television. The biggest concern about child rearing in Japan was safety, followed by sufficient time to spend with children and education expenses.

First published in December 2006 by Japan for Sustainability (JFS). Many thanks to JFS for their kind permission to reprint the article at iKjeld.com.

Keywords: national_news

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2 comments so far post your own

1 | At 06:25am on Dec 20 2006, Suro wrote:
Only 40%? I always thought it was a lot less...
2 | At 08:43am on Dec 20 2006, Kjeld Duits wrote:
Suro, I think the media, especially foreign media, always exaggerate Japanese fathers' so called "non-interest" in their children.

The last few years I see an increasing number of fathers on the street alone with their children. Often just a tiny baby in a baby carrier sling. I didn't see this at all when I first came to Japan 25 years ago. So there is clearly a growing interest among fathers to participate.

Additionally, I seem to notice a huge difference between the classes. It appears that fathers in the so called "lower classes" spend a lot more time with their children than "salarymen" and the always working "elite". Construction workers usually go home at six, but the lights at offices remain on until late at night...

I would love to know the jobs of the fathers who participated in the survey of the National Women's Education Center.
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