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Ms. Watanabe’s Profession

TOKYO – Ms. Watanabe, age 40, is hesitant. Her mother, Mrs. Watanabe, is known for moving the world’s markets with the financial trading that occupies her breaks from housework.

Mrs. Watanabe is the generic name for Japan’s housewife speculators, who have wielded significant influence on foreign exchange and other markets through their trading. After graduating from university, Mrs. Watanabe quit her job when she married Mr. Watanabe (who worked in the same office), became a housewife, and raised one daughter. She did this because, in Mrs. Watanabe’s day, marriage was the final workplace.