Girl power takes over Asia, and Tokyo is the newest city to join the global trend.
— 小池百合子 (@ecoyuri) July 30, 2016
As Taiwan elected its first female president earlier this year, President Park Geun-Hyeand of South Korea at helm and Hillary Clinton officially becoming the first presidential nominee in the United States; Tokyo has also elected its first female governor: Yuriko Koike, who speaks Arabic and won the election with over 1 million votes more than her nearest rival, Hiroya Masuda supported by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party.
As the 64-year-old environmentalist makes history, breaking glass ceilings, she will also oversee the Summer Olympics 2020 set to take place in Tokyo. Here are 5 things you may not know about Governor Yuriko Koike:
1. The glass ceiling.
In a country where according to The World Economic Forum, ranks 101 in 145 in gender equality, Koike was Japan’s first female defense chief and one of three women currently serving as governor of one of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
2. Female-friendly policies.
A fan of Taiwan’s first female president Tsai Ying-Wen, Koike has praised President Tsai’s election as well as expressed feelings toward U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign as “potential to do lasting damage” to the U.S.-Japan ties. In her campaign, Koike promised to overcome childcare shortages and push for female-friendly policies in a country where politics and businesses are still heavily dominated by men.
So both women and men can shine in Tokyo.
3. Multilingual globalist.
Fluent in both English and Arabic, Koike graduated from Cairo University. She was a translator and newscaster before becoming a politician.
4. Not a fan of North Korea…
…and not afraid to speak up. Koike has accused Koreans in Japan of sending money to support Kim Jong Un’s regime.
5. Green commander.
From 2003 to 2005, Koike was Japan’s Environment Minister highlighting green initiatives, including a campaign that encouraged male office workers to get rid of suit jackets during summertime so air conditioning can be set at higher temperatures. She also pushed for the use of forshiki (a type of Japanese wrapping cloth) shopping bags instead of plastic bags.
— 小池百合子 (@ecoyuri) July 31, 2016