YOKOHAMA – The women of Oiso, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan’s only town where they held a majority of the municipal assembly, lost their grip on power in an election Sunday when they surrendered one seat to the male camp.
Following elections in 2007 and 2011, Oiso’s 14-member assembly had eight women, versus six men. Following Sunday’s poll, the mix is now seven against seven.
Ten male and nine female candidates ran for the 14 seats. Voter turnout came to a record low 48.28 percent, down 3.56 points from the previous 2011 election.
A nationwide study released last July on the gender ratio of political assemblies found that Oiso was the only community with a majority of women. Towns with 50-50 ratios were Shimamoto, Osaka Prefecture, and Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture.