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Wednesday, 7th April 2010
In General Japan News,

Female Japanese astronaut heads into space

A female astronaut from Japan is helping to make history among a group of women currently on a mission to deliver goods to the International Space Station.

Naoko Yamakazi is one of four women aboard the Discovery space flight heading for the space station, the first time that there have been as many female astronauts in space at the same time.

She has received much attention in her home nation, as her role as an astronaut has seen the traditional gender roles in Japan challenged - her husband Taichi has been shown on local TV taking on jobs which are usually the work of Japanese women.

This has astounded many Japanese people, it has been reported, and led Naoko to be dubbed the Mum Astronaut.

Footage of her husband shows him looking after their seven-year-old daughter, preparing food and doing laundry.

Figures reported by the BBC show the unusualness of this set up - according to the source, almost 75 per cent of Japanese women leave their jobs completely when they have children.

Written by Kimberley Homer.

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