Japan councilwomen says ouster shows gender bias in politics

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Japan councilwomen says ouster shows gender bias in politics

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A councilwoman who was ousted from the town assembly in a famous Japanese hot springs resort after accusing the mayor of sexual assault said Friday her case highlights the problems of male-dominated small town politics in which women are often silenced.

Shoko Arai, the only woman in the 12-member assembly in the town of Kusatsu, northwest of Tokyo, was voted out of office in a Dec. 6 referendum initiated by the mayor and his supporters.

Arai accused Mayor Nobutada Kuroiwa in an online book in November 2019 of forcing her to have sex in his office in 2015. In December 2019, the town assembly voted to expel Arai, but the decision was overturned by the Gunma prefectural government.

Click here to read the full interviews published by Star Tribune on 18 December 2020.

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