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Election Review: Proportion of women elected in Japan lower house vote increases to 10.1%

A total of 47 women were elected to Japan's 465-seat House of Representatives in the Oct. 22 general election -- two more than in the previous general poll in 2014, but short of the record high of 54 in 2009.

The proportion of women among all successful candidates in the latest election stands at 10.1 percent, up 0.6 points from the previous election. The figure is a far cry from the goal the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set of raising the overall proportion of women in leadership roles to 30 percent or more.

The number of elected female Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members stood at 22 (14 elected in single-seat electoral districts and eight in proportional representation blocs), down from 25 in the 2014 election and making up 7.7 percent of the party's successful candidates in the Oct. 22 election.

During the 2014 poll, the LDP had 20 women running only on the party's proportional representation roster to push the Abe administration's flagship policy of women's empowerment, and three in four newly elected female Diet members were on such a roster. This time, however, the LDP had just five women running only for proportional representation blocs.

In the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, 12 elected candidates, or just over 20 percent of the total number of those in the party who won seats, were women. Of these, nine were newcomers to the lower house.

The Party of Hope led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, who has called for the active participation of women in the workforce, fielded 47 female candidates in the election, but only two of them were elected.

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