First Female Elected Governor of Tokyo: Yuriko Koike Promises to Reinvigorate Tokyo

First Female Elected Governor of Tokyo: Yuriko Koike Promises to Reinvigorate Tokyo

Kanako Itamae and Hiroshi Saito

Modern Tokyo Times


A very chaotic Tokyo election resulted with Yuriko Koike emerging victorious. This reality happened despite her own party, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), refusing to support her. Therefore, Koike appealed directly to all Tokyoites based on her past experience, former environment minister (and other powerful positions), and providing the opportunity to have a female ruling this powerful international city.

The end result was that she won by a clear margin despite the ruling party not backing her and the usual sexist comments emanating from certain quarters. It is, therefore, essential for Koike to start to build-up her own personal power base, in order to lay the foundations for the future.

Ironically, for Koike, by not having the backing of the ruling LDP then this should shore up her independence. Indeed, many Tokyoites were inspired by her tenacity by standing strong.

Koike said, “I would like to implement new policies that no one has ever seen.”

Not surprisingly, Koike immediately focused on issues related to women and other areas including social policy. After all, female positions in powerful corporations still remain stubbornly low throughout Japan. Given this reality, Koike will focus on work-related issues, the need for greater access to nurseries, centers for the elderly and support networks – and other important areas.

It is important for Tokyo to overcome recent scandals involving the last two mayors. Equally important, the Tokyo Olympics scheduled for 2020 must not become burdensome for Koike. This applies to overspending and the sense that it just feels like corporate games for the wealthy elites – rather than a grassroots major sporting event. Therefore, it is hoped that Koike will return Tokyo to political stability while focusing on important areas in relation to economics, the international standing of this mega-city, reinvigorating the business sector and focusing on important social issues.


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