A panel to the Japanese financial regulator gave the green light Monday for a proposal requiring listed companies to disclose any gender gaps in their workforce in line with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's aim of addressing Japan's gender pay inequality, one of the worst among developed countries.

Under the rules approved by the panel on corporate disclosure, the Financial Services Agency will require 4,000 or so listed firms in the country to include gender disparities in pay, management jobs, and the rate of male employees taking child-care leave in their annual financial reports.

File photo taken in April 2017 shows the building that houses the Financial Services Agency in Tokyo. (Kyodo)  

The approval comes as Kishida aims to revise regulations for female empowerment by summer and urge companies to disclose the status of their workplace gender equality.

The government plans to implement tougher disclosure rules on gender equality, requiring all companies with more than 300 employees to provide wage gap data on their web pages. There are currently 17,600 such firms in the country.

The current rules require these companies to disclose information in at least two of 15 categories of gender gap data, but a decision on which data to disclose is left to companies.

In a meeting Friday to discuss Kishida's economic and social reforms, the government decided to oblige companies to include the gender wage gap in the data they disclose.

Currently, women's pay overall is about 20 percent lower than men's, according to the Cabinet Office. The gap is apparently due to fewer women in management jobs and a higher proportion of women among nonregular workers.

In 2021, females held only 13.2 percent of managerial positions in Japan, according to government data.

Full-time female workers including those holding non-regular jobs were paid 77.5 percent of what Japanese male workers earned, while the ratio in Italy and France was 92.4 percent and 88.2 percent, respectively. The figure for the United States stood at 82.3 percent.