When Yuriko Koike ran to become governor of Tokyo in 2016, her candidacy gave voters hope that the city might move in a new direction — one in which childcare, gender inequality and climate change would be given the attention they deserve.

During her campaign, she spoke of helping parents whose children had been put on waiting lists for admission to day care, promised she would work hard to make Japan a place where women can find success on equal terms with men and wore a green sash to signify her concern for the environment.

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