Ivanka Trump hails ‘womenomics’ in Japan ahead of president’s visit

White House adviser and first daughter Ivanka Trump appeared with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo Friday, praising his campaign to boost women’s economic power and denouncing harassment in the workplace.

Presidential adviser Ivanka Trump speaks at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday in advance of President Donald Trump's arrival Sunday. Photo courtesy U.S. Embassy in Japan/Twitter
Presidential adviser Ivanka Trump speaks at the World Assembly for Women in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday in advance of President Donald Trump’s arrival Sunday. Photo courtesy U.S. Embassy in Japan/Twitter

As part of a three-day lead up to President Donald Trump’s arrival there, Ivanka Trump was a key speaker at the World Assembly for Women to champion Abe’s “womenomics” plan.

Though her appearance was highly anticipated, Trump’s speech Friday was lightly attended — despite her popularity in Japan.

Ivanka Trump’s speech, in fact, was the most registered-for event of the summit and tight security led officials to close doors early to waiting crowds. No packed throngs of attendees, though, were seen even 10 minutes before the event began.

In her remarks, Trump noted “significant improvement” for women in Japan in recent decades, and attributed some of that success to Abe’s economic policies.

“At the very heart of this vision, ‘Abenomics,’ is ‘womenomics,'” Trump said, adding that she expects Japan’s economy “will continue to grow in great measure.”

‘Womenomics’ is intended to help increase female participation in fields like science and math — areas dominated for decades by men. Abe has pledged $50 million to the cause, and said he hopes to create “a society where women can shine.”

Advocating for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, Trump said male-dominated sectors were “moving in the wrong direction.”

Toting her Women Who Work book brand, Trump also noted that women shouldn’t be defined by whether or not they work inside or outside the home, and said “all women are working women.”

“As a professional with three young children, and despite the help I was able to have at home, I too have experienced the struggles of balancing competing demands of work and family,” she said.

Ivanka Trump also denounced sexual harassment in the workplace.

“All too often, our workplace culture fails to treat women with appropriate respect,” she said. “This takes many forms, including harassment, which can never be tolerated.”

Her three-day visit marks Ivanka Trump’s first trip to Japan. To highlight the occasion, she was guarded by an all-woman Japanese security team — dressed in black suits instead of body armor.

“We opted for a more cultivated look to suit the occasion,” an officer who helped plan the security detail said.

The president will arrive in Japan on Sunday with first lady Melania Trump as part of a 12-day Asia tour that includes stops in South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Trump will stop in Hawaii Friday for a ceremony at Pearl Harbor.

By Sara Shayanian