Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Yuriko Koike

Further to my post "Japan's First Female PM"

From Canadian Press:
"A former Japanese anchorwoman-cum-cabinet minister has thrown her hat into the ring in an attempt to become that country's first female prime minister.

Yuriko Koike announced Monday that she will challenge six other hopefuls seeking to become president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic party in a Sept. 22 election.

Whoever wins that post is virtually certain to be chosen by parliament to succeed Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who announced his resignation last week."

From the Telegraph:
"Yuriko Koike, a former television news presenter, launched her campaign with a promise to rejuvenate the world's second-largest economy if she is selected to replace Yasuo Fukuda, who resigned last week after just a year in office.

She is the first woman to seek the leadership of the LDP, which has seen its popularity eroded after five decades of near continuous rule.

She faces stiff competition from three other candidates, including front-runner and flamboyant party secretary General Taro Aso, for the party vote on September 22.

A general election will be held by September next year, although the opposition has called for a snap election as soon as possible.

Koike said that the keyword of her campaign would be "reform" and said she intends to introduce an environmental tax to fight global warming.

"Change is not happening fast enough for women, either in Japanese society or our political world," she said."

From the International Herald Tribune:
"She's less likely to hog the headlines than Sarah Palin, but former defence minister Yuriko Koike made an equally bold bid for power on Monday, as she launched an attempt to become Japan's first woman prime minister.

A telegenic former newscaster fluent in English and Arabic, Koike, 56, emphasised her plans to tackle women's issues and the environment as well as administrative reform at a news conference in Tokyo.

Japan ranked 54th out of 177 countries in terms of women's economic and political power in a United Nations survey for 2007-2008 -- way behind most major industrialised countries.

Japanese women were granted the right to vote only after Japan's World War Two defeat and only one woman has ever led a major Japanese political party, the Socialists. A woman currently heads the tiny Social Democratic Party.

One other major party has turned to a woman to try to restore its fortunes in Japanese political history.

Takako Doi led the Socialist Party from 1986, and helped the opposition win a historic upper house election victory in 1989, but she stepped down in 1991. In 1993, she was appointed the first female speaker of the lower house.

A second stint as party leader was less successful, and the remnant of her party is now only a minor player.

But even feminists who welcome the advent of a woman candidate for prime minister express doubt about whether Koike, a former environment minister who has served as a national security adviser and briefly as defence minister, is the right choice."

Official website of Yuriko Koike

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