This week’s featured article


Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike was named one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017 by Time magazine on April 20 along with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“When I first met Yuriko Koike … during a trip to Japan in February, I was immediately struck by how her vision was fixed on the future,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a member of the jury.

“In politics and in business, power is often exercised by men, while women must struggle to be heard. As the first female governor of Tokyo … Koike is a trailblazer and an example for Japanese women — and women all around the world,” she said.

“She has both ambition for Tokyo and an acute awareness of the challenges it faces, including addressing climate change, supporting the new digital economy and making her city more sustainable and inclusive,” Hidalgo said.

At a news conference on April 21, Koike said she was honored and hopes to encourage other women to take on challenges in Japan’s male-dominated society.

“First of all, I’d like to say I’m really honored, having been put on Time’s 100 list,” Koike said. “Given that I’ve been selected along with figures such as Prime Minister Abe, I’m really pleased.”

Koike said the title has motivated her to work harder to achieve her goals.

“I’ve received recommendation from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and have been listed as a pioneer. I believe that my efforts to improve transparency at the metropolitan government and to achieve policies that put Tokyo residents first and reform Tokyo since I assumed this my post as (the capital’s) first female governor last year have been taken into consideration.”

She also said she was hoping that her example might encourage other women to take on challenging goals in male-dominated fields.

Among Japanese, artist Yayoi Kusama, novelist Haruki Murakami, lifestyle consultant Marie Kondo and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have appeared on the list in the past.

First published in The Japan Times on April 22.

Warm up

One-minute chat about a person who has had a strong influence on you.


Collect words related to Tokyo, e.g., buildings, busy, commute.

New words

1) jury: a group of people chosen to decide, e.g., “The jury hasn’t reached a verdict yet.”

2) struggle: to try hard with some difficulty, e.g., “We are struggling to launch the new project.”

3) trailblazer: the first person to do something, e.g., “She is recognized as a trailblazer in that field.”

4) acute: sharp, e.g., “You have an acute eye when it comes to art.”

Guess the headline

K_ _ _ _ makes Time magazine’s list of 100 M_ _ _ Influential People, along with Trump, Kim


1) What was Gov. Koike selected as?

2) How did the mayor of Paris describe Koike’s efforts in Japanese politics and business?

3) Who are some of the other Japanese citizens who have featured on the list in the past?

Let’s discuss the article

1) Check the world’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017. Who is the most influential person in the list for you?

2) What do you think about Gov. Koike?

3) Do you think Gov. Koike will influence others, especially Japanese women?






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