Japanese people elected Yuriko Koike as the first woman governor of Tokyo on July 31. It is noted that she is a former defense minister of Japan. This appointment will play a key in the preparations of the Olympics 2020 which is going to be held in Tokyo.
Who is Yuriko Koike?
Yuriko Koike is a Japanese politician and member of the House of Representatives of Japan from 1993 to 2016.
- She was the former Minister of Defense in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, but resigned in August 2007 after only 54 days in office.
- Born and raised in Ashiya, Hyōgo, a wealthy Kobe suburb. She dropped out the School of Sociology at Kwansei Gakuin University in September 1971. She studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo in 1972, Koike received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Cairo University in October 1976.
- Koike was elected to the House of Councilors in 1992 as a member of the Japan New Party. She was then elected to the House of Representatives in 1993, representing the Hyogo 2nd district. In 1996, she was re-elected to the House of Representatives, this time representing the Hyogo 6th district for the New Frontier Party. She held this seat in the 2000 election as a candidate of the New Conservative Party. She joined the Liberal Democratic Party in 2002
- She is a member of the Diet members’ group to promote Yasukuni Shrine visits, led by Yoshinobu Shimamura, and goes to worship the war dead at the shrine on War-End Day, 15 August, almost every year.
- Her foreign and security policies are often regarded as hawkish. She suggested that the prime minister revise the interpretation of Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan to enable the government to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
- In 2006, she started the Mottainai Furoshik campaign, which urges shoppers to use furoshiki in place of plastic shopping bags. She is against the use of bio-fuels made from food crops.
- She has supported the United States and the War on Terror and opposes the Japanese government’s tradition of UN-centered foreign policy. During the 2008 LDP leadership election, she pledged to make Russia return the four disputed islands to Japan if she was elected as prime minister.
- Koike has also actively promoted Japanese pop culture, appearing in co splay as Sally from Sally the Witch in 2015, and stating during her 2016 Tokyo gubernatorial campaign that she wanted to turn all of Tokyo into an anime land.
- Ms Koike received more than 2.9 million votes in election, which lead to the defeat of her opponents by a wide margin. The election which was contested by a record field of 21 candidates.
- Yuriko Koike was announced the winner by Japanese media as soon as voting ended, based on her definitive lead in exit polls. She will take charge of a sprawling Tokyo with a population of more than 13 million.
- It is noted that the former governor Yoichi Masuzoe, resigned in June after an exorbitant, though not illegal, spending of taxpayers’ money, including for hotel suites and expensive artwork. The governor before him also resigned in disgrace
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