Women Need to Be Encouraged to Run in LDP Leadership Race: Experts

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--An environment in which women can easily run in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's leadership election should be created, experts said ahead of Tuesday's start of a race to pick the successor to Shinzo Abe, who will quit as party president and prime minister for health reasons.

Two female members of the LDP--Tomomi Inada, executive acting secretary-general of the party, and former Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Seiko Noda--refrained from running in the election after considering whether to make bids.

In 2008, Yuriko Koike, now Tokyo governor, became the first woman to run for party presidency. Since then, the LDP has seen no female candidates in its leadership races.

Japan is slow to appoint women to leadership positions not only in politics but also in society as a whole. In July, the government gave up meeting a target of raising the share of female leaders in the country to 30 pct by 2020. It now aims to achieve the figure "at the earliest possible time in the 2020s."

Mari Miura, professor of politics at Sophia University, said the upcoming LDP election on Sept. 14 "is more or less a setup, with the de facto winner picked by intraparty factions."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press