Akiko Higuchi was elected the nation’s second female mayor Sunday in Hasuda, Saitama Prefecture, beating out incumbent Katsuo Ishikawa in an election with a record-low voter turnout of 52 percent.
Backed by a wave of criticism of Ishikawa’s management of the local government, Higuchi rode to success on a nonpartisan platform promising government reform. Her campaign drew grassroots support from volunteer groups and housewives as well as the support of her brother, a prefectural assembly member.
Higuchi, a business owner, is a longtime participant in volunteer activities and local government planning groups. She joins Harue Kitamura of Ashiya, Hyogo Prefecture, in the ranks of the country’s women mayors.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.