Japan

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Lawmaker Sanae Takaichi speaks at a news conference to announce her running in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party leadership race to succeed outgoing Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in Tokyo on Sept. 8. | REUTERS
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Japan takes step toward first female leader as two women run
Two women are in contention to become prime minister of Japan for the first time in its history — a potential turning point for a country that ranks below Saudi Arabia in terms of female political representation. Victory for either Seiko Noda and...
Candidates for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election pose with slogans written in kanji prior to a debate at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Saturday. | POOL / VIA REUTERS
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Japan: Women make headlines in LDP race, but true empowerment a long way off
Two women have entered the race for the leadership of Japan’s ruling party for the first time in its 66-year history, putting in the spotlight both the strides taken and the hurdles that still face female politicians in a country that lags far...
A T-shirt featuring a portrait of Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike displayed at a store on the Ameyoko shopping street in Tokyo on Sept. 5. (Kentaro Takahashi/Bloomberg)
Monday, September 13, 2021
Enough is enough. It’s time for Japan to have a female leader.
By William Pesek Over the past decade, Japan has tried a variety of strategies to restore its economic relevance. It spent trillions of dollars jolting growth. It devalued the yen. The Bank of Japan seemed to morph itself into a giant hedge fund to...
Toshihiro Nikai (C), secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, speaks at a meeting with female lawmakers of the party on March 15, 2021, at the party headquarters in Tokyo. (Kyodo)
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Japanese parties vie to boost number of female lawmakers ahead of polls
TOKYO – Japanese political parties are competing with each other to promote female candidates ahead of a lower house election that must be held by this fall, but some worry that, like similar efforts before, the initiative may be more sloganeering...
Friday, December 18, 2020
Japan councilwomen says ouster shows gender bias in politics
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...
Civic group members (L) submit a petition requesting more female representation among parliamentary candidates to ruling party lawmaker Seiko Noda (C) on Oct. 8 in Tokyo. (Kyodo)
Monday, December 07, 2020
Japan eyes 35% quota for women political candidates by 2025
TOKYO - Japan will aim for a 35 percent quota for female parliamentary candidates by 2025, Cabinet Office officials have said, hoping that setting a concrete target will advance gender equality in the political realm. Japan, which lags on the global...
Monday, October 26, 2020
Japan has so few women politicians that when even one is gaffe-prone, it's damaging
Last month, Japanese lawmaker Mio Sugita caused outrage on social media when she said that some women lie about sexual assaults. "Women can tell as many lies as they want," Sugita was reported to have said at a ruling party parliamentary meeting on...
Wednesday, October 07, 2020
Japanese lawmaker’s comments on sexual assault spark calls for more female representation in politics
A Japanese lawmaker has apologized for claiming that women can lie about sexual assault. The comments sparked an online petition and have led to calls for increased diversity in the country’s male-dominated politics. Sugita Mio, a member of the main...
Thursday, October 01, 2020
COVID-19 presents crucial moment for gender diversity in Japan
In a world of uncertainty triggered by the global coronavirus pandemic, it is important now more than ever to not only maintain but to expand gender diversity in the business and political worlds, especially in Japan. That was the main message that...
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Japan is a 'democracy without women', says ruling party MP
A prominent member of Japan’s ruling party has described the country’s politics as “democracy without women”, days after the new prime minister appointed just two female MPs to his cabinet. Tomomi Inada, a former defence minister from the governing...
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
In Japan’s male-dominated politics, women face obstacles to making history
Lawmakers who were vying to lead the ruling Liberal Democratic Party including Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who won the overwhelming support of the party’s members, have vowed to continue outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to...
Monday, July 06, 2020
Tokyo’s first female governor sails to re-election even as virus cases rise
In rewarding Tokyo’s first female governor, Yuriko Koike, with a second term on Sunday, voters endorsed her highly visible leadership as the sprawling metropolis has avoided the kind of spiraling death toll from the coronavirus seen in other world...
Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Japan to focus on female empowerment, support for single mothers
The Japanese government adopted Wednesday a set of policies on women, focusing on promoting their empowerment in the business and political arenas and helping single mothers secure child support from divorced husbands. The policies stated that...
Monday, April 06, 2020
Youngest female mayor in Japan elected in Tokushima
Sawako Naito, a 36-year-old independent rookie, was elected head of the city of Tokushima on Sunday, becoming the youngest female mayor in Japan. Naito, who leads a community development group, defeated incumbent Mayor Akiyoshi Endo, 64, by 41,247...
Thursday, April 02, 2020
Noda Seiko: Tackling gender imbalance in Japanese politics
Liberal Democratic Party politician Noda Seiko has been a member of the political elite for nearly three decades. She was still in her thirties when she was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time, and a few years later became the...
Friday, March 20, 2020
UN: Japan's women in government ratio lowest in G7
An international survey has ranked Japan 113th of 190 countries for the percentage of women in ministerial positions. It is the lowest among the Group of Seven industrialized countries. The report was made by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN...
Friday, March 06, 2020
Women in Japanese politics: Why so few after so very long?
To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, there will be worldwide marches, parades, protests and public awareness activities on the contributions of women and the barriers and discrimination they still face. One issue of focus is the state of...
Friday, February 21, 2020
Eri Tokunaga
Eri Tokunaga is a Member of Parliament from Japan. This interview was conducted in October 2018 in the margins of IPU’s 139th Assembly in Geneva.

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