This article examines the gender gap in political participation in Japan. Although previous studies indicate that women may face several external constraints on political participation, this idea has not been tested systematically. Using the Japanese component of the Asia-Europe Survey, the article demonstrates that work experience and age have very different impacts on participation across the sexes. It argues that men and women encounter very different working conditions and family circumstances at certain stages of their lives, which create a gender gap in political participation.
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