Japan first: At 36, Shiga gets youngest female mayor


Voters in Otsu, capital of Shiga Prefecture, on Sunday elected the nation’s youngest-ever female mayor, a 36-year-old lawyer.

Naomi Koshi, an independent supported by the Democratic Party of Japan and the Social Democratic Party, beat two rivals, including the incumbent, Makoto Mekata, 70, who had the backing of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.

The previous record holder was Kazumi Inamura, who won the race in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, in 2010 at age 38.

Since Shiga Prefecture also has a female governor, Yukiko Kada, both the capital and the prefecture are being run by women for the first time.

After completing graduate school at Hokkaido University, Koshi earned a law degree from Harvard University and worked as a lawyer in the United States.

Koshi received 51,735 votes, while Mekata got 42,232, the final result showed. Masako Higashi, 49, a doctor supported by the Japanese Communist Party, obtained 22,712 votes.

Voter turnout stood at 44.15 percent, up 1.84 from the previous election.