TEENAGE girls in China want to rule the boardroom, while their peers in Japan dream of becoming nursery school teachers or housewives, according to a recent survey by a Japanese research institute.
 
The Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living polled 200 females aged 16 to 19 in Shanghai and another 200 females in the same age group in Tokyo on what they want to do in the future. The survey was conducted in June and August.
 
Some of the most desirable careers picked by the Chinese teenage girls are chief executive officers or senior managers, designers, teachers, or to work in the media, the Shanghai Daily reported yesterday.
 
Japanese teenage girls wanted to become childcare workers or teachers, doctors, flight attendants or housewives.
 
"Doubts about the future after a protracted recession have led to strong desire for stability among young Japanese women," the report said.
 
But in economically booming China, "even ordinary girls want to head corporations or start their businesses," it said.
 
East China Normal University professor Wu Zunmin said that the differences are mainly due to culture traditions in the two nations.
 
"Japanese girls are traditionally educated to be good wives who could serve thei husbands," Prof Wu said.
 
As for teenage boys in both countries, a career in the computer industry is the preferred choice of most of the 400 — 200 in Shanghai and 200 in Tokyo — polled.
 
Many of the Chinese boys also wanted to become doctors, CEOs or engineers, while their Japanese peers opted to become civil servants, lawyers or artists.
 
~ Shanghai, The Straits Times, December 14, 2005