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Woman Wins Wage Suit in Japan

July 28, 1999

TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese court on Wednesday ruled in favor of a woman who sued a major pharmaceuticals company over wage discrimination, saying women should get the same pay as men.

The Osaka District court ordered Shionogi and Co. to pay Hisami Naka about $260,000 in compensation for discrimination suffered over a decade, a court official said.

Naka, 56, claimed that Shionogi paid her less than male colleagues merely because she was a woman. She had demanded $402,000.

Naka joined Shionogi in 1965 and worked there for 30 years before retiring in 1995.

Presiding judge Tetsuoh Matsumoto was quoted by the Asahi Shimbun as saying that companies ``should pay women the same wages as men as far as they request women to do the same job in quality and quantity.″

Asahi said a total of 18 disputes related to wage discrimination are now in courts throughout the nation.

``I am delighted by the ruling as the court recognized my claim,″ Naka said in a nationally televised news conference.

Shionogi said in a statement that it ``will decide what action it will take after studying the content of the ruling carefully.″

Update hourly