Japan's first lady says that she has such a busy schedule that sometimes it's up to the prime minister to do the dishes or take out the garbage.

It's the kind of flexibility that she says is needed for the advancement of women in Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing companies and the government to hire and promote more women. He appointed five women to his 18-member Cabinet on Wednesday.

His wife, Akie Abe, told The Associated Press on Thursday that her husband gives her time for a wide range of activities, from raising organic rice to appearing in a gay pride parade.

Despite her husband's conservative image, she says he does chores when he can.