There will be three female faces in the new Cabinet of the 100th Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida: Seiko Noda (Minister in charge of the declining birthrate), Noriko Horiuchi (in charge of vaccines) and Karen Makishima (Minister for Digitalization).
Kishida (President of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, currently governing the country ) was elected by the Japanese Parliament as the new Prime Minister of the country latest 4th November. He succeeds Yoshihide Suga, who took office as Shinzo Abe had to resign by health reasons.
Suga and his Cabinet lost the confidence and support of the Parliament mainly due to their poor reaction against the 5th wave of the COVID-19 infections while hosting the Tokyo Olympics.
The new Cabinet will undertake what will be the shortest mandate in Japan’s history as Kishida has decided to dissolve the Lower House this same month to hold general elections not further than Oct. 31st 2021. But the gender parity commitment of Kishida seems stronger than ever at the head of the country.
Following the World Economic Forum (WEF) Gender Gap report 2021, Japan is placed 120th among 156 countries. Japan ranks the last among major advanced economies. The Asian country just went up one place from the 121st it scored in 2019 report, when the ranking was based on 153 countries, but remained far behind Italy the next worst performing member of the G7 (Italy ranked 63rd). The World Economic Forum underscores that the level of women’s participation in the political and economic fields keeps on very low in Japan.
WEF report 2021 shows that despite Japan fully succeded to close its gender gap in primary education, the country still earns a very low score (ranked147th) in political empowerment as well as in economic participation and opportunity (placed in the 117th spot).
Three women for three key problems to solve
In fact Seiko Noda competed against Kishida in the leadership election inside the Liberal Democratic Party. She has been State Minister in charge of Consumer Affairs and Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.
Noriko Horiuchi (Minister for Vaccination) has been Deputy Minister for Environment and joins the Cabinet for the first time.
The Minister for Digitalization and member of the LDP, Karen Makishima, is a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Kanagawa 17th district.
She received her bachelor’s and doctorate from International Christian University and master’s from George Washington University.
From Minister of Foreign Affairs in Abe’s Cabinet to PM
The new Prime Minister of Japan has been Minister for Okinawa Affairs from 2007 to 2008 in the Cabinet of then Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. Then he was also appointed Minister of State in charge of Consumer Affairs and Food Safety in 2008; and Minister of State in charge of Science and technology, both in Fukuda’s Cabinet.
He was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on December 26th, 2012.
Very close to Makoto Koga a veretan politician who was member of the LDP, Kishida assumed control of the Koga faction in October 2012. Leaving aside that he is currently the President of the LDP he also assumed the Presidency of the headquarters for the economic revitalization of Japan.
Kishida is an ultra-conservative politician affiliated with the openly revisionist organization called Nippon Kaigi. Shinzo Abe and a great parto of his Cabinet members were also members of this ultra-conservative Organisation.
The mission of the Nippon Kaigi lobby is to promote the patriotic education, the revision of the Constitution of Japan (specially Article 9 on a permanent army ban), and the support to official visits to the Yasukuni shintoist sanctuary and a nationalist interpretation of state Shintoism.
It is kown the Nippon Kaigi members’ unconditioned support to the Japanese Monarchy.
Image over the headline.- Fumio Kishida (recently elected as Prime Minister of Japan). Image from Wikimedia Commons. To watch the original photo and read the terms of the lisense click here
(1) The images of Karen Makishima and Seiko Noda have been sources through Wikimedia Commons. To watch the original photos, the author and the terms of the lisense, click here and here respectively. Image of Noriko Horiuchi, © LDP. Composition, © Eastwind