Women in general, and working mothers in particular, occupy a strategic\position in Japan’s welfare capitalism. In order to generate economic growth\amid the shrinking labor force, policy makers have recognized the importance\of pushing women into the labor market. At the same time, the low birth rate\has compelled them to pursue work-life balance policy as well as childcare policy.\Recently, “womenomics” discourse has also penetrated into growth strategy,\which justifi es positive action measures. Nevertheless, these seemingly working-\women-friendly polices have not yielded concrete results.\The article asks why numerous women-friendly policies are at best schizophrenic,\if not contradictory with each other. More broadly, it investigates how\gender inequality has persisted in Japan, identifying the position of women in\Japanese welfare states and exploring the spread of statist family ideology held\by the dominant Liberal Democratic Party （LDP）. The blending of neoliberalism\and statist family ideology ,which I label “neoliberal motherhood,” accounts\for Japan’s schizophrenic policy response. Although neoliberalism and motherhood\might appear at odds with each other, the common thread that ties them\together－the objectifi ed women－permits their strange marriage.