Discusses the opportunity for change in Japan towards a more gender-equitable system. Describes the role of women in Japan’s industrialization and development of its peculiar management system. Discusses the legal, corporate and external framework for workforce equality. Explains the role of the 1997 U.N. conference on women in Beijing in helping to spur on the internationalization of the Japanese women’s movement, with a renewed sense of being part of Asia. Concludes that within a decade, Japanese companies will likely offer women greater equality of opportunity, particularly at the professional level, but, at the same time, all employees will enjoy far less assurance of security and income growth.