Kyoto’s Yawata City Elects Youngest-Ever Female Mayor in Japan

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shoko Kawata celebrates with her supporters after winning the election.

Kyoto, Nov. 13 (Jiji Press)—Independent Shoko Kawata, 33, was elected Sunday to be mayor of the city of Yawata in the western Japan prefecture of Kyoto, becoming the youngest female city mayor in Japanese history.

Kawata, who had worked as a secretary of a member of the House of Councillors, was supported by the Liberal Democratic Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and Komeito in the mayoral election, which was held due to the previous mayor’s resignation.

She picked up more votes than two other candidates—Ken Ogata from Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), a former member of the Kyoto prefectural assembly, and independent Yuko Kameda, backed by the Japanese Communist Party.

Sawako Naito, who became mayor of the city of Tokushima in the namesake prefecture in western Japan at the age of 36, was previously the country’s youngest-ever elected female city mayor, according to the Japan Association of City Mayors.