Tokyo long way off appointing woman as PM, finds poll

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 10, 2013 10:10 hrs

South Korea recently elected its first female president, but it looks like it will still take some time for Japan to follow their footsteps and appoints a woman as prime minister, a recent survey by Tohoku University has revealed.

The findings of the small-scale online poll showed that 66.5 percent of the respondents believe there are currently no female lawmakers suitable to take the helm of government.

Of the 310 respondents in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, Yuriko Koike of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party was backed by just 8.7 percent to become the nation's leader, followed by Renho of the Democratic Party of Japan at 3.9 percent and LDP lawmaker Yuko Obuchi, the daughter of the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, at 3.5 percent.

According to Japan Times, only 23 of those polled expected Japan to see a female prime minister in the near future.

The survey, led by professor Hiroshi Yoshida of Tohoku University's Graduate School of Economics, concluded that there is plenty of room for the nation to accept a female prime minister, but no one with such talent and overwhelming support has emerged yet, the report said.

Japan is notorious for lagging behind other countries in terms of gender equality in the workplace - beginning with the Diet.

In the Dec. 16 Lower House election, only 38 of the 480 seats up for grabs were won by female candidates.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his LDP pledged in December's election campaign to raise the ratio of women occupying positions of leadership to more than 30 percent by 2020.

According to the report, in an attempt to show that he means business, he appointed women to two of the party's key roles: Sanae Takaichi as LDP policy chief, and Seiko Noda as chair of the party's General Council.

But of the 18 Cabinet ministers Abe unveiled Dec. 26, only two were women, the report added. (ANI)

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