Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Japan has its first female PM — she’s a dog


One of the women often cited as a possible candidate to break through the bamboo ceiling and become Japan’s first woman prime minister says she’s been pipped to the post by her dog.

Yuriko Koike, a former defence and environment minister who raised eyebrows by standing against the current prime minister, Taro Aso, in the race for leadership of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) last year, keeps a photo in her office of her Yorkshire terrier, “Sori”, which means “prime minister” in Japanese.


“She’s a female. So you see Japan already has its first female prime minister,” she joked when I interviewed her this week.

Though Koike said in the interview she would only stand for the party leadership again if the right conditions arose, her dog’s name may be a sign that her ambitions for the top job are simply on the back burner while the LDP struggles with voter dissatisfaction magnified by the deepening economic crisis.