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Political parties step up efforts to increase number of women in Diet

  • March 16, 2022
  • , Asahi , p. 4
  • JMH Translation

Political parties have finally begun efforts to increase the number of female Diet members. Will the Diet really change or are the efforts just gestures? The results of future elections will demonstrate the true worth of those efforts.

 

Motegi Toshimitsu, Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), called for “increasing the number of female candidates in the unified local elections next spring” at the national meeting of local LDP federation secretary generals on March 12. The proposal is based on the idea to start with local lawmakers in order to increase the number of female Diet members. Many LDP Diet seats are filled by incumbents, creating difficulties to nominating newcomer women to run. Inada Tomomi, a member of the LDP’s Election Strategy Commission, proposed that there should be a commission member in charge of women’s affairs. Inada said, “There is still a sense in rural areas that men are the ones involved in politics, and women tend to be ignored in the [candidate] selection process of prefectural LDP federations.”

 

The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) aims for 50% of its candidates to be women in the Upper House election this summer. The CDPJ launched a support team for female candidates on March 8. The team will provide financial support to candidates with families who need child-rearing support and provide advice to incumbent lawmakers. Komeito secretary-general Keiichi Ishii said at a press conference, “It is important to create an environment that balances child-rearing and parliamentary activities.” Nippon Ishin no Kai (Ishin) announced its measures to support candidates who are raising children. The Democratic Party for the People (DPFP) and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) have set targets of  35% and 50%, respectively, for the proportion of female candidates in the Upper House election.

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