Governor of Tokyo: Yuriko Koike

Yuriko Koike, the first female Tokyo Governor is a qualified and a potential political leader in Japan. Beginning in 1992, her shifting, yet active role in politics has credited her in her current position as she holds the office of Governor of Tokyo. Being in the House of the Representative for 24 years, Yuriko Koike is one of the most notable political figures of Japan. Now let’s learn more about the Governor of Tokyo: Yuriko Koike.

Personal Background

Yuriko Koike has an influential family background which somehow motivated her to join Japanese politics. She was born in Ashiya in Hyogo Prefecture. Her father was a foreign trader handling oil products and also had strong connections with the political leaders of his time. Though unsuccessful in winning the national election, he motivated Koike to know more about Japan and work for its prosperity.

Yuriko Koike at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2008

Education and Qualifications

With her father’s words and motivation, Koike went to the American University in Cairo to complete her major in Sociology. Though she started her major at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan, she dropped out after some time to study in Egypt. Along with that, Yuriko Koike’s education in Cairo made her a fluent Arabic speaker.

With her educational qualifications, she started her career as an interpreter of Arabic and later joined the media industry to work as a journalist. Even as a journalist, she has received the Female Broadcaster of Japan Award in 1990 for her exemplary role in journalism.




Career as a Politician

Yuriko Koike started her career as a politician in 1992 when she was elected to the House of Councilors under the Japan New Party. One year later, she was elected to the House of  Representatives and held that position for 24 years, though she changed her alliance with several parties.

Koike has always been a supporter of economic liberalization, the ideology which is widely believed to have formed with her father’s support for economic liberalization and even globalization. Moreover, she promoted administrative and budgetary reforms. For economic prosperity and in a pursuit to ease the government’s debt burden, Koike has aggressively privatized Japanese assets.

Under Cabinet Services from 2003 to 2007, Koike served as the Minister of the Environment and Minister of State, under the leadership of the Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. With excellent governance skills in several departments, she was later appointed as the first female Defense Minister of Japan in 2007, but this time, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But, citing specific circumstances of a scandal, she later resigned from the post after 2 months.

Yuriko Koike and Shinzo Abe

Career as the Governor of Tokyo

By 2013, Yuriko Koike was seen as a potential and a strong candidate for the National Gubernatorial Elections because of her strong intellectual position in the government. But, it was in 2016 that she filed her nomination as a candidate for the Governor’s office. Despite facing criticism and not getting sufficient support from her own party, she however, won the elections by a wide margin of votes and was the first female Tokyo Governor. By being the first female candidate to have gained support from the citizens of the country, she encourages women’s role in political and administrative offices. Along with her outstanding performance in governance, she has also promoted IT development, sustainable infrastructure, and recently has made a position for herself by promoting Japanese pop culture.

I hope you enjoyed today’s article on the Governor of Tokyo: Yuriko Koike.  If you missed the last article on Interesting Facts about Narita Airport then click here.

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