Record 7 Women Win Mayoral Elections in Japan Outside Designated Cities

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The new mayor of Toshima Ward Miyuki Takagiwa makes her first appearance at the ward office on Monday.

A record seven women were elected as mayors outside ordinance-designated cities in the second half of the unified local elections on Sunday, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun tally, surpassing the six elected in the previous election in 2019.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Miyuki Takagiwa, left, throws her arms in the air to celebrate along with Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike in Toshima Ward, Tokyo, on Sunday.

Meanwhile in Tokyo, the wards of Toshima, Kita and Koto elected female mayors for the first time. Among the capital’s 23 wards, Shinagawa, Suginami and Adachi wards already have female mayors. With the three who are newly elected, the total number of female ward mayors reached a record high of six.

In Toshima Ward, former vice mayor Miyuki Takagiwa, 57, was elected as mayor. In Kita Ward, former member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Kanako Yamada, 51, won the election, while former Liberal Democratic Party House of Representatives member Yayoi Kimura, 57, became Koto Ward’s mayor.

Looking at the winners of assembly elections in non-designated cities by party, the LDP gained 710 seats, up 12 from the 2019 election. Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), which includes winners of the regional party Osaka Ishin, earned 256 seats, more than double the 113 won in the previous election. Komeito won 891 seats, failing to achieve its goal of having all members elected as its candidates lost in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and Takamatsu.

The Japanese Communist Party earned 560 seats, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan won 269 seats, and the Democratic Party for the People got 65 seats. Sanseito, which ran in the unified local elections for the first time, gained 67 seats.