Japan sharply lags other developed nations in female representation in politics, having made little progress over the 70 years since the first women were elected to the Diet.

In the April 1946 House of Representatives election, the first postwar Lower House poll, 39 women won seats, 8.4 percent of the total 466 seats, becoming the first female lawmakers under a revised election law granting women the right to vote and run in national elections.

But it took almost 60 years until that figure was surpassed, when 43 women won election in 2005.