Yuriko Koike

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In this Japanese name, the family name is Koike.
Yuriko Koike
小池 百合子
Yuriko Koike - World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2008.jpg
Governor of Tokyo
Assumed office
2 August 2016
Preceded by Yōichi Masuzoe
Minister of Defense
In office
4 July 2007 – 27 August 2007
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe
Preceded by Fumio Kyūma
Succeeded by Masahiko Kōmura
Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
In office
27 September 2004 – 26 September 2006
Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi
Preceded by Toshimitsu Motegi
Succeeded by Sanae Takaichi
Minister of the Environment
In office
22 September 2003 – 26 September 2006
Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi
Preceded by Shunichi Suzuki
Succeeded by Masatoshi Wakabayashi
Member of the House of Representatives
for Tokyo's 10th district
In office
11 September 2005 – 30 August 2009
Preceded by Kōki Kobayashi
Succeeded by Takako Ebata
Personal details
Born (1952-07-15) 15 July 1952 (age 64)
Ashiya, Japan
Political party Japan New Party (Before 1994)
New Frontier Party (1994–1997)
Liberal Party (1997–2000)
New Conservative Party (2000–2003)
Liberal Democratic Party (2003–present)
Alma mater Kwansei Gakuin University
American University in Cairo
Cairo University
Website Official website

Yuriko Koike (小池 百合子 Koike Yuriko?, born 15 July 1952) is a Japanese politician and the governor of Tokyo. She was a member of the House of Representatives of Japan from 1993 to 2016 (when she resigned to run in the Tokyo gubernatorial election), and was previously the Minister of Defense in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, but resigned in August 2007 after only 54 days in office.[1] On 31 July 2016, Koike was elected Governor of Tokyo, the city's first female governor.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born and raised in Ashiya, Hyōgo, a wealthy Kobe suburb, Koike went to Kōnan Girls' Junior and Senior High School for her secondary education. Her father, Yūjirō Koike, was a foreign trade merchant who handled oil products. He was also involved in politics, supporting Shintarō Ishihara and the Tatenokai in 1960s, and ran for a national election to no avail in 1969.[3] He occasionally told Yuriko that it was essential for Japan to strengthen relations with Arab countries to ensure a stable petroleum supply lest the resource-poor Japan be thrust into war for oil again. His words convinced her to study in Egypt to master Arabic.[3][4]

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. She married a Japanese student in Egypt when she was 21 years old, but divorced soon after.[5][6] She began to work as an interpreter and translator of Arabic and later served as Secretary General of the Japan-Arab Association.

Career in politics[edit]

Koike, dubbed "Japan's Condi Rice",[7] shakes hands with Condoleezza Rice in August 2007.

Koike was elected to the House of Councillors 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.[8]

Cabinet service[edit]

She served as the Minister of the Environment and Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Jun'ichirō Koizumi. Along with Satsuki Katayama and Makiko Fujino, Koike became known as one of Koizumi's "assassins" in the 2005 Lower House election, running in Tokyo against an LDP hard-liner candidate who opposed Koizumi's policies.[9]

Koike was appointed Minister of Defense in June 2007 during the first term of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but announced in August 2007 that she intended to resign from the post, citing the Aegis classified information leak scandal as a reason.[1] Koike later hinted that the much publicized fight she had had with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki over a vice-minister replacement was the real reason, as the opposition would use that to oppose a bill on Japan's terrorism laws.[10]

2008 LDP leadership election[edit]

On 8 September 2008, she launched her bid to become President of the LDP and became the first woman ever to seek the premiership in Japan's history: "I have received the enthusiastic support of my colleagues. In order to break through the deadlock facing Japanese society, I believe the country might as well have a female candidate. Hillary used the word 'glass ceiling' ... but in Japan, it isn't glass, it's an iron plate. I'm not Mrs Thatcher, but what is needed is a strategy that advances a cause with conviction, clear policies and sympathy with the people."[11] In the leadership election, held on 22 September, Tarō Asō won with 351 of the 527 votes; Koike placed third with 46 votes.[12]

2016 Tokyo gubernatorial election[edit]

Following the resignation of Tokyo governor Naoki Inose in December 2013, Koike was widely rumored to be a potential candidate for the gubernatorial election expected to be held in February 2014, along with Hideo Higashikokubaru, Hakubun Shimomura, Seiko Hashimoto and Yōichi Masuzoe.[13] She ultimately did not run in the election, which Masuzoe won.

Masuzoe announced his resignation in June 2016, and Koike announced her intention to run in the election for his successor. Koike stated that she would run "as an LDP lawmaker" but did not obtain the approval of the Tokyo LDP chapter before announcing her candidacy.[14] The LDP officially endorsed Hiroya Masuda, and its Tokyo chapter issued a notice that any members supporting Koike would be punished. Nonetheless, several prominent LDP politicians continued to back Koike, while senior leaders such as Shinzo Abe refrained from making speeches in support of either candidate.[15]

On 31 July 2016, Koike was elected Governor of Tokyo, becoming the first woman in the post.[16]

Political positions[edit]

Koike supports economic liberalism, promotes administrative and budgetary reform, and insists on further advancement of the status of women in the working world. Her stated basic principles and stance regarding political reform is encompassed by "The 5 Cs: Check, Challenge, Change, Creative and Communication".[17]

Having learned ecological lifestyle from her own experience of wartime austerities in Egypt,[4] Koike addresses environmental issues. She received the Japan Jewelry Best Dresser Award for her success in the Cool Biz and Warm Biz campaign. She expressed the idea of introducing a carbon tax in 2005 so that Japan might achieve the goals of the Kyoto Protocol.[18]

In 2006, she started the "Mottainai Furoshiki" campaign, which urges shoppers to use furoshiki in place of plastic shopping bags.[19] She is against the use of biofuels made from food crops.[20]

As a conservative nationalist, she belongs to the Diet members' league to support the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.[21][22] Koike is one of the five Vice Secretaries General of the Diet Members' Committee of Nippon Kaigi, the country's largest conservative think tank and the main historical revisionist lobby, once chaired by Tarō Asō.

She is a member of the Diet members' group to promote Yasukuni Shrine visits, led by Yoshinobu Shimamura, and goes to pay her respects to the war dead at the shrine on War-End Day, 15 August, almost every year.[22] Not being able to visit it due to an official trip to Okinawa, she sent her proxy to pay respects at the shrine in 2007.[23][24][25]

Her foreign and security policies are often regarded as hawkish.[7][22][26] 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.[22][27]

She has supported the United States and the War on Terror and opposes the Japanese government's tradition of UN-centered foreign policy.[28] 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.[29]

Koike has also actively promoted Japanese pop culture, appearing in cosplay 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".[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Koike decides to leave post, cites responsibility over information leak, JapanNewsReview.com; accessed 18 June 2015.
  2. ^ http://www.wsj.com/articles/yuriko-koike-elected-governor-of-tokyo-first-woman-in-post-1469967380
  3. ^ a b "Oyaji no Senaka", Asahi Shimbun Morning Edition, 24 August 2008.
  4. ^ a b "Kikase te Anata no Mottainai", Shufu-to-Seikatsusha, 12 September 2006.
  5. ^ Masaharu Fujiyoshi. "Koike Yuriko Kenkyū", Shūkan Bunshun, Bungeishunjū, 20 October 2005.
  6. ^ "Koike Yuriko Fūin no Nijūissai", Flash, vol. 1020, Kobunsha, September 2008.
  7. ^ a b "'Japan's Condi Rice' known for courting controversy", The Japan Times, 5 July 2007.
  8. ^ "プロフィール | 小池ゆりこ オフィシャルサイト". www.yuriko.or.jp. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  9. ^ Faiola, Anthony (2005-09-03). "In Japan, the Lipstick Ninjas Get Out the Vote". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-07-20. 
  10. ^ "Resigning Koike criticizes opposition", JapanNewsReview.com; accessed 18 June 2015.
  11. ^ Japan PM contender sees "iron" barrier for women, reuters.com; accessed 18 June 2015.
  12. ^ "Aso elected LDP head", yomiuri.co.jp, 22 September 2008.
  13. ^ "猪瀬知事が辞職表明 「都政を停滞させられない」". 日本経済新聞. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013. 自民党の石破茂幹事長は19日午前、東京都連幹部と協議し、年内の候補者決定を目指す方針を確認した。党内では小池百合子元防衛相や下村博文文部科学相、橋本聖子参院議員らの名前が取り沙汰されている。7月の参院選への出馬を見送った元新党改革代表の舛添要一氏、日本維新の会を離党して衆院議員を辞職した東国原英夫氏らの名前も浮上している。 
  14. ^ "LDP's Koike prepared to run in Tokyo governor's race". The Asahi Shimbun. June 29, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Ruling camp keeps low profile in Tokyo race". The Yomiuri Shimbun. July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Yuriko Koike Elected Governor of Tokyo, First Woman in Post". The Wall Street Journal. July 31, 2016. 
  17. ^ Koike Yuriko Kihon Rinen Koike Yuriko official website.(Japanese)
  18. ^ "Koike pledges to push carbon tax to meet goals under Kyoto Protocol", japantimes.co.jp, 6 November 2005.
  19. ^ "Minister Koike created the 'Mottainai Furoshiki'", env.go.jp; accessed 18 June 2015.
  20. ^ Mainichi Shimbun Morning Edition, 11 March 2008.
  21. ^ "Uha no Sokkin de Katamerareta Abe Seiken" Archived July 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., chosunonline.com, 27 September 2006.(Japanese)
  22. ^ a b c d "'Yasukuni Shikan' Kataru Menmen", Akahata, 6 October 2006. (Japanese)
  23. ^ "Koike Daijin Kaiken Gaiyō"[permanent dead link], 7 August 2007.(Japanese)
  24. ^ Yasukuni Sampaisha List 2007[permanent dead link]", kinyobi.co.jp; accessed 18 June 2015.(Japanese)
  25. ^ "Sōsaisen Yasukuni demo Zessen"[permanent dead link], Sankei Shimbun, headlines.yahoo.co.jp, 15 September 2008.(Japanese)
  26. ^ "Chūgokushi 'Koike Shin Bōeishō wa Takaha no Seijika'[permanent dead link]", Nippon News Network, 4 July 2007.(Japanese)
  27. ^ "Nippon ga Dekiru Keizai Seisai", Voice, April 2003.(Japanese)
  28. ^ "Ozawa Ichirō to Koizumi Junichirō o Kiru Archived September 14, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.", yuriko.or.jp, January 2008.(Japanese)
  29. ^ "Dōshūsei Dōnyū ni Iyoku", Chugoku Shimbun, 15 September 2008.(Japanese)
  30. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. "Let's Turn Tokyo Into Anime Land, Says Politician". Retrieved 2016-07-20. 

External links[edit]

House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Multi-member
Member of the House of Representatives
for Hyōgo's 2nd district
Multi-member

1993–1996
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of the House of Representatives
for Hyōgo's 6th district

1996–2003
Kōichirō Ichimura
Preceded by
Proportional representation
Member of the House of Representatives
for Kinki

2003–2005
Succeeded by
Proportional representation
Preceded by
Kōki Kobayashi
Member of the House of Representatives
for Tokyo's 10th district

2005–2009
Succeeded by
Takako Ebata
Preceded by
Proportional representation
Member of the House of Representatives
for Tokyo

2009–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Shunichi Suzuki
Minister of the Environment
2003–2006
Succeeded by
Masatoshi Wakabayashi
Preceded by
Toshimitsu Motegi
Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
2004–2006
Succeeded by
Sanae Takaichi
Preceded by
Fumio Kyūma
Minister of Defense
2007
Succeeded by
Masahiko Kōmura
Preceded by
Yōichi Masuzoe
Governor of Tokyo
2016–present
Incumbent