Tokyo will have its first female governor even though there have already been six female governors in other prefectures. Female leaders of the national government or the capital city are not unusual in other countries. With male officials dominating the Tokyo government at present, the question is whether Yuriko Koike will be able to reform Tokyo’s administration in a direction giving more consideration to the weak.
The 13.5 years of the administration under Shintaro Ishihara reinforced the male-oriented posture. Men dominated the final phase of all decision-making.
There was only one woman under the Shunichi Suzuki administration among the 52 former vice governors. At present, there are only 3 women out of the 60 administration officials with the rank of bureau chief, the highest position after the vice governor.
There is still a tendency to discriminate against women in the Metropolitan Assembly. Two years ago, a male assembly member jeered at a female colleague, telling her: “You should get married soon,” which constituted blatant sexual harassment.
How will Koike, who has built her career in the male-dominated Liberal Democratic Party, change Tokyo’s administration? Her betrayal of voters who hope that she will “understand their pain” would be unacceptable. (Abridged)