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With a telegenic presence, powerful ruling party mentors and a talent for avoiding making political enemies, new trade and industry minister Yuko Obuchi may have what it takes to become the country’s first female prime minister.

In Tokyo’s male-dominated corridors of power, where seniority still matters, Obuchi’s gender and youth would in the past have made her a long shot — at best — to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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