Women accounted for a record 37 percent of civil servant hires in Japan in April, the minister in charge of civil service reform said Friday, achieving the government target for female representation in such posts.

Taro Kono said in a press conference the ratio of women hired to start working as public servants on April 1 rose 0.2 points from the previous year. The government set a goal in December of last year to reach a hiring rate of 35 percent or more for women in the national public service sector.

Kono said he is glad to see "highly skilled women aiming to become public servants," and vowed to continue reforms in work practices at central government ministries while increasing the hiring rate of new public servants for both women and men.

Of the 9,090 total recruits, women numbered 3,362. As for career-track positions including those at senior level, 34.1 percent, or 255, were filled by women, according to the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs.

Among the government ministries that hired 100 people or more, the Foreign Ministry hired the most women at 47.9 percent, followed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare both at 41.8 percent.

The ratio of women was lowest at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism at 24.7 percent, while the National Police Agency recorded 30.1 percent.