Japan's original life insurance agents were the widows of servicemen who died during World War II. In the 50 years since then, women have continued to dominate in selling life insurance. Unfortunately, this is not cause for a celebration of women's progress. Quite the opposite, says Eiko Sato, manager, sales promotion for The Prudential in Tokyo.

In Japan, to be a life insurance agent is to have a job- but not a profession, she says. Agents are often part-time workers and they are gen

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