Japan could potentially have a female prime minister for the first time since former Interior Minister Sanae Takaichi ran for chair of the ruling party.
Takaichi announced his candidacy as chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) on Wednesday (8/9) to replace Yoshihide Suga.
The LDP will hold a vote to elect a leader on September 29. The winner in the LDP chairman election will later become the party’s representative in the PM election at the lower house level of parliament which will be held no later than 28 November.
The head of the LDP is almost certain to be the next prime minister; given that the ruling party does hold a majority in parliament.
If he wins; Takaichi will become Japan’s first female prime minister. Reuters reported that Takaichi had a pretty good chance given that former Japanese PM Shinzo Abe gave support to the only female candidate.
With Abe’s encouragement; Takaichi is certain to receive the support of at least 20 MPs. However; Takaichi’s popularity rating in the eyes of the public itself is currently still very low.
The former interior minister in the Abe era began campaigning for a number of programs that he would intensify if he was appointed prime minister.
Takaichi said he wanted to fix a number of issues that had not been resolved by the previous government; such as achieving 2 percent inflation; and drafting legislation “that prevents the leakage of sensitive information to China.”
He also considered that Japan needed an extra budget to fix the country’s medical system which was chaotic due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite launching a number of important programs; Takaichi’s conservative attitude is considered to reduce support from women’s rights fighters.
Some time ago; Takaichi and the LDP vehemently rejected calls for women to retain their own family names after marriage.
They consider such a move to undermine the unity of the family and go against tradition.