National / Politics

Japan's lone female minister asked to change her outfit just prior to declaration ceremony in order to meet dress code

Kyodo

Satsuki Katayama, the sole female minister named to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s reshuffled Cabinet, demonstrated her presence from the start of her tenure, as she was seen rushing to buy a new dress just before the declaration ceremony Tuesday at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The 59-year-old bureaucrat-turned-lawmaker, who assumed a ministerial post for the first time, had prepared two formal outfits for the ceremony. But she was told by a Cabinet Office official who visited her office in the wake of the appointment that neither of them met the dress code.

She rushed to a department store with her secretary, later returning to her office with a bag. “I found an outfit that follows the dress code,” she told reporters, looking relieved.

Katayama, who was appointed minister of state for regional revitalization and women’s empowerment, made it in time and attended the ceremony and photo sessions wearing a silver colored dress with matching jacket.

Although he has been pushing for what he calls a society in which women can shine, Abe admitted at a news conference Tuesday that the number of female ministers in the new Cabinet is “low” compared to other countries. But he’s insisted that the Upper House lawmaker is a person with “a presence equivalent to two or three.”

She may have proved that already.

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