In a district especially disillusioned with boys' club politics, candidates in the Tokyo 15th district by-election are striving to prove themselves as anything but the usual politician. The constituents — haunted by the memories of a political misconduct scandal involving their previous representative, combined with a slush funds scandal that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party found itself embroiled in — are looking for a breath of fresh air, resulting in a rare and unusual sight for Japan: a female-driven election.

While the high-stakes competition to fill the scandal-tainted seat in parliament to represent Tokyo's southern Koto Ward rages on with much emphasis put on issues related to education and child-rearing, one name stands out.

Natsumi Sakai, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP)’s candidate and one of four female candidates running in the by-election, is in the lead so far, according to mid-term media surveys. She is receiving a very strong push from her party, with various CDP politicians rushing to back her up and campaign alongside her as she makes her way through the district.