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Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009
Househusband not such a bad gig, one-third of men say
By MARIKO KATO
Nearly a third of married men would not mind being househusbands, according to a recent survey by the Housework Aptitude Test executive committee.
Among the 2,080 married men and women in their 20s to 50s who were polled in Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, Hokkaido and Fukuoka in November, 29.5 percent of the men said they could bear the brunt of the housework, with those in Tokyo leading the way at 31.2 percent.
"In many modern households, wives have jobs and contribute significantly to the income, so husbands know they must share domestic chores in a way that reflects the balance," said Emiko Imaizumi, a representative of the Housework Aptitude Test committee.
The data were collected by the committee in charge of the Kaji Kentei, (Housework Aptitude Test), an examination that assesses knowledge of domestic skills, including cooking, cleaning, budgeting and writing letters.
According to the survey, husbands in Hokkaido spend the most time doing housekeeping, at 54.0 minutes daily, ahead of those in Osaka at 49.7 minutes and Tokyo at 48.4 minutes.
Broken down into age groups, Tokyo-based husbands in their 40s ranked at the top, spending more than an hour each day on housework, at 69.8 minutes.
"This was an interesting result for us," Imaizumi said. "Many wives in Tokyo work full time and jobs are often the hardest during their 40s, so their partners appreciate that it would be hard to maintain the housekeeping, too."
But not many men are yet willing to have their domestic skills assessed, accounting for only 10 percent of entries for the first Housework Aptitude Test last March.
"Because everyone should be doing housework, we feel that it should be 50 percent," Imaizumi said.
The second test will be held this March.