Former environment minister Yuriko Koike becomes Tokyo’s first woman governor

Yuriko Koike speaks during an interview at her office in Tokyo March 16, 2009. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/Files - RTSKERL

Yuriko Koike, a former environment and defense minister for the Liberal Democratic Party was elected as Tokyo’s first female governor on Sunday, despite not being endorsed by her own party.  She was challenged by Hiroya Masuda, the former internal affairs minister who was supported by the LDP and opposition candidate Shuntaro Torigoe, a veteran journalist. Koike ended up receiving 2.85 million votes, against Masuda’s 1.75 million votes. The first-ever woman to govern the island nation’s capital said she would focus on policies improving women’s lives, telling the Japan Times: “I received so much support from women this election. The support made me think deeply that I have a responsibility to work on the issues of waiting lines for day care centers, elderly care and work-life balance.”

Other important campaign issues for Koike included the 2020 Olympics, to be held in Tokyo which she promised to use as  “a chance to build a new Tokyo for beyond 2020,” as well as a plan to return “Tokyo to its position as Asia’s leading international financial capital.”

Read the full story at Japan Times.


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