Yuriko Koike learned from her mother the coolheaded philosophy of “competing with others by doing things differently and aiming at self-reliance.” Defying the opposition of senior Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) officials, she braced herself to “jump off a cliff” and announced her candidacy, going it alone to capture the governorship in the end.
Koike says: “I have a habit of transforming a certain amount of risk into energy, and taking on challenges.” As the first female governor of Tokyo, she has pledged to conduct a “major reform of Tokyo’s administration.”
Koike was born in Ashiya City, Hyogo Prefecture. She dropped out of Kwansei Gakuin University to go to study at the University of Cairo in Egypt. She witnessed firsthand the fourth Middle East War.
Koike worked as a newscaster for a time, after which she became a politician in 1992. She had been a member of the Japan New Party, the New Frontier Party, the Liberal Party, and the Conservative Party before finally joining the LDP. She has been derided as a “political migrant” due to her career background. She introduced the “Cool Biz” initiative when she was environment minister under the Junichiro Koizumi administration. She was also the first female defense minister. She is known for her confidence, outspokenness, and unyielding spirit. Playing with her dog, a Yorkshire terrier named So, is her main method of relaxation.