Japan

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Satoko Kishimoto, the new mayor of Tokyo’s Suginami district: ‘I thought something had to change.’ Photograph: Asia Europe People's Forum/Youtube
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
"Dominated by old men": Tokyo ward’s first female mayor takes on status quo
Satoko Kishimoto sets sights on ‘radical change’ in Japan, where only 2% of local government leaders are women. The first female mayor of a district in Tokyo has vowed to challenge Japan’s male-dominated politics, weeks after she became one of only...
Incumbent Upper House lawmaker Renho bows to supporters at her office in Minato Ward, Tokyo, after securing re-election on Sunday night. | KYODO
Monday, July 18, 2022
Women win record 35 of 125 seats in Japan's Upper House election
Sunday’s Upper House election saw a record 35 seats go to women, with veteran lawmakers and new contenders of all stripes voted in. In a race overshadowed by the murder of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — who during his tenure pushed the slogan “a...
 Female local politicians exchange opinions with Seiko Noda, left in the back row, state minister in charge of gender equality, in Tokyo in May 2018. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Thursday, July 07, 2022
Japan: Local assemblies identify barriers that stop women entering politics
Local politicians across Japan feel that more needs to be done to help women enter and remain in politics, from combatting sexual harassment to beefing up maternity leave policies, according to a new survey. And assemblymen pointed to another...
A female Upper House election candidate in Nagoya on Sunday | KYODO
Thursday, July 07, 2022
Harassment of female candidates a growing issue in Japanese politics
In 2019, Aiko Usui was 28 years old and running for a seat in a ward assembly election in Tokyo. But instead of being treated as an aspiring politician by some of the voters she was canvassing, she instead felt like a pop idol being targeted for...
Photo taken on July 2, 2022, shows people listening to street campaigns in Tokyo ahead of the July 10 House of Councillors election. (Kyodo)
Thursday, July 07, 2022
Record women, LGBTQ election hopefuls run to shake up Japan politics
TOKYO - A record number of both women and LGBTQ candidates are campaigning to win over voters in the House of Councillors election on Sunday and potentially bring change to Japan's male-dominated political landscape. While some advocates have hailed...
Japan still far from breaking free of male-dominated politics (The Mainichi)
Thursday, July 07, 2022
Japan still far from breaking free of male-dominated politics
It's been four years since the gender parity law was passed in Japan, with an aim of fielding an equal number of female and male candidates in elections. Still, the male-dominated political environment has not changed. Women make up 33.2% of all...
A female candidate, left, appeals for support to voters in this partially modified image taken in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, on June 22, 2022. (Mainichi/Koji Hyodo)
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
33% of candidates in Japan's upper house election are women, highest ever
TOKYO -- A record 181 of the 545 people standing in Japan's July 10 House of Councillors election are women, comprising 33.2% of all candidates, also a high. The total of 181 female candidates announced on June 22 was up 77 from the previous upper...
Japan's Lower House to survey gender equality in Diet - NHK
Monday, May 16, 2022
Japan's Lower House to survey gender equality in Diet
Japan's Lower House of the Diet plans a questionnaire on women's participation in politics as the country largely lags behind in female representation in national parliaments. In Japan, female lawmakers account for only 9.7 percent of all those...
A voter casts a ballot. (Mainichi/Kimi Takeuchi)
Monday, April 04, 2022
No kiss, no vote: Survey shows female politicians in Japan victims of sexual harassment
A survey on politicians in Japan has shown that many former and current female national legislators and local assembly members have been subject to sexual harassment. "I was threatened that if I did not kiss them, they would not vote for me," and "I...
arumi Yoshida from opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan celebrates her victory over a Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight Nobuteru Ishihara after the Lower House election on Sunday night in Tokyo. | KYODO - Japan Times
Monday, November 01, 2021
Japan: "Fewer women elected in Lower House poll despite empowerment law"
In Sunday's general election, 45 women were elected to the 465-seat House of Representatives, down two from the previous contest in 2017, despite a law promoting female participation in the political field, data showed Monday. While the election was...
Photograph: David Mareuil/AP. Japan’s prime minister, Fumio Kishida (front centre), poses with his cabinet in Tokyo. The LDP is fielding just 33 female candidates in elections this month.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
‘It is bullying, pure and simple’: being a woman in Japanese politics
Harassment is common for women who run for office and female MPs comprise just 9.9% of lower house. Mari Yasuda has come to dread checking her social media accounts. While a TV programme has tipped the candidate as “one to watch” in Japan’s general...
PHOTO: EPA-EFE, The Straits Times. People walk past posters of political parties leaders in Tokyo, on Oct 19, 2021. More than 1,000 candidates are running for the election but only 186 are female.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Japan’s election unlikely to bring more representation for women
Less than a fifth of candidates in Japan’s upcoming election are female, unchanged from the last vote four years ago, indicating the percentage of women in one of the world’s most male-dominated parliaments is unlikely to increase. More than 1,000...
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, center in the back row, and other lawmakers raise their hands in a customary "banzai," after the dissolution of the lower house was announced at the Diet in Tokyo on Oct. 14, 2021. (Mainichi/Kota Yoshida)
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Despite gender equality law, less than 18% of candidates in Japan election are women
TOKYO – Just 186 of the 1,051 candidates standing in Japan's House of Representatives election this month, or 17.7%, are women -- on par with the low level seen in the previous lower house race in 2017. This is the first election since the enactment...
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...

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