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"A penny for your thoughts"

Friday, September 5, 2008

Yuriko Koike would be Japan's first female prime minister.

September 22, 2008 Aso went on to win the election by a landslide 351 votes. Yosano got 66 votes, Koike 46, Ishihara 37 and Ishiba 25. Aso will be sworn in as Prime Minister on 24 September 2008. A general election will be called on 3 October for 26 October 2008 following the leadership election.

Yuriko Koike emerged Wednesday as a possible contender to be Japan's first female prime minister, with heavyweights in the ailing ruling party urging her to challenge conservative favorite Taro Aso( LDP's secretary general ). Koike , 56, a former television anchorwoman who has been a defence minister and environment minister, has stayed coy on whether she will contest a party vote on September 22 to replace outgoing Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, plunging Japan's long-dominant ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) into crisis mode. Koike belongs to the LDP's largest faction.

Koike quoted "I want to consider what we need in general, rather than my own individual situation," "I'm contacting various people since you can't play a baseball game all by yourself." Koike , an expert on the Middle East and fluent in both English and Arabic, is known for her close ties with reformist premier Junichiro Koizumi, who was popular during his 2001-2006 tenure.

Japan to pick new premier on September 22- video

Japan has one of the developed world's lowest rates of female representation among politicians and corporate executives. Only 89, or 12 per cent, of the 722 members of parliament are women.

Aso has run unsuccessfully three times to be prime minister. The former Olympic marksman is known for his hawkish views, although he has softened his image in recent years by highlighting his love of comic books and pop culture. Aso backs spending to revive the economy, which is now teetering on recession as inflation soars and demand for exports slow. Japan has the highest public debt of any developed nation.

The LDP has been in power for all but 10 months since it was created in 1955. But it lost control of one house last year to the opposition, which has tried to block the LDP agenda in hopes of winning the next elections.
Source: Channel NewsAsia

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