36-year-old Harvard law graduate elected Japan's youngest female mayor

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  • 12

    mitoguitarman

    This is the most positive sign I've seen in the political arena in the last few years. Female, young, educated outside the stultifying J-education system. Now, in another 75 years we may get some real progress.

  • 11

    NetNinja

    I don't know if she's any good at her job but I do know this...I want Oyagi OUT. These old buzzards are a hindrance to progress in this nation. Unfortunately this young lady must deal with the bull-headed lot of them if she is to be effective. I expect the corporations that want Mr. 70 in will turtle her for the rest of her term.

  • 5

    Gurukun

    Does age really make a difference? She doesn't really look 36....must be the obasan dress...

    But seriously, good to see women climbing the ranks in the JGov. Who knows...maybe things will start getting better. The men haven't done crap except bickering all the time.

  • 5

    Nicky Washida

    Good luck to her, going head to head against all those stuffy old suits. I hope she doesnt just give up and get assimilated.

  • 4

    ironchef

    book smart does not equal street (government) smart

  • 4

    Wurthington

    She has a tough road ahead... Japan has more debt per capita than the USA and this in a country with a shrinking population. Japan's construction industry lives off of government contracts... without them, there will be more pain. Japan's food prices is amoung the highest in the world but Japan refuses to pass TPP whereby those with less money would benefit. Japan's income gap between the haves and have nots is widening. The list goes on and on. She has a lot of work to do.

  • 4

    kwbrow2

    I too don't really care if the mayor is a man or woman. It is more important that they have good ideas and are able to get the work done. That being said, in general, I feel older people are complacent and unwilling to change with the time. I for one am happy to see more and more younger politicians. Anyone who is more progressive and does what is necessary to bring Japan in-line with international norms, including child rights, women's rights, and discrimination.

  • 3

    Mirai Hayashi

    She's already better than the Tokyo Governor by light years

  • 2

    namabiru4me

    Am sure some of her peers will say that she should get married and have babies.

  • 2

    tokyokawasaki

    I personally don't care if the mayors or politicians are male, female young or old.

    All I want to see is people with a kind heart, selfishness and an open mind in positions of power and leadership.

  • 2

    Lazzaris Alberto

    The name of the UNI doesn't make anybody become the the BEST one.

    Lula, Brazil's former president studied till the 4th grade and look their economy...

  • 1

    papigiulio

    Couldnt agree more with you Netninja, too many old people running this country, I hope she can make a difference and inspires other women to work hard for high positions in this society. Then MAYBE something will change.

  • 1

    paulinusa

    Something like this could turn the tide and discourage the old, predictable candidates from running for office. Hopefully a taste of things to come.

  • 1

    Godan

    The woman to her right is giving the sign for a field goal - the Ravens could have used her yesterday. ;-)

  • 1

    Yardley

    As a former long-term resident of Shiga, I'm happy about the election result. I hope she will do a great job for the people of Otsu. They deserve the best!

  • 1

    PT24881

    Harvard educated elite is great.. the tough part of the mission will be to crack the conservative fortress of the country's political system and..as a woman ( nothing personal..you know how things work out ).. Wishing Ms. KOSHI cordially good luck !

  • 1

    suitasteve

    Sorry to rain on Ms. Koshi's parade, but she did NOT graduate from Harvard Law School. She completed a 9 month program introduction to US law that is offered only to non-US lawyers. Very big difference.

  • 1

    MaboDofuIsSpicy

    There is nothing wrong with basket weaving. My hardest graduate class I ever took was weaving and textiles.

  • 0

    Del Ihle

    Cheers for Koshi-sensei! It's wonderful seeing young people seriously run for office and actually get elected. I hope her success inspires young women to follow in her footsteps! Yay! Gambatte!

  • 0

    Okikibi

    Male, female, Harvard grad or not, it doesn't matter. We have a female, Harvard grad as mayor here in Kurashiki. She is just as worthless as the man that held the post before her.

  • 0

    soldave

    Wow... go you people of Otsu! Great news.

  • 0

    Green Wowser

    What if she is Skull and Bones ? I hear Harvard or Yale and I think Skull and Bones.

  • 0

    tmarie

    “I want to work on expanding childcare and other services,” the Mainichi Shimbun quoted Koshi as telling cheering supporters late Sunday.

    Finally someone in government with clear priorities! I wish her luck. It must not have been easy to deal with all the old ossans and I expect she's going to have a hell of a battle on her hands and wish her the best of luck. Japan needs more women like her!

  • 0

    combinibento

    They should rename this place SHEga-ken.

  • 0

    j4p4nFTW

    Good luck to her. The breath of fresh air will be welcome.

  • 0

    ribstick

    I guess she's going for that pseudo-flight attendant look.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    What Bar exam did she pass in the states? Each have their own. Does Japan just have one, and if so, did she pass that? Law here is very different. 99% guilty when blamed.

  • 0

    Johannes Weber

    Socialist major elected in debt ridden Shiga.

    And so what? Debt is climbing everywhere. It it less a question of governmental style than it is a question if wealth relies on people's produrctivity or on natural ressources, which can be sold on the global market. People always cost more than having natural gas or oil under your country.

    Show me one country of comparable size, population and economy like Japan that isn't debt-ridden. Show me one prefecture which doesn't have such troubles.

  • 0

    LH10

    Harvard?! whoa what a smart a** ^o^ good luck~

  • 0

    Samantha Ueno

    Here we go, one step in the right direction!

  • 0

    Green Wowser

    I really hope she can mature into a Helen Clark - type figure.

  • 0

    electric2004

    Can she make tea for her co-workers?

  • 0

    Fadamor

    Sorry to rain on Ms. Koshi's parade, but she did NOT graduate from Harvard Law School. She completed a 9 month program introduction to US law that is offered only to non-US lawyers. Very big difference.

    Hmm. Others seem to disagree with you. From yesterday's Japan Times:

    After completing graduate school at Hokkaido University, Koshi earned a law degree from Harvard University and worked as a lawyer in the United States.

  • 0

    supermonk7

    Otsu is a great little town. Perfect for a picnic.

  • 0

    Ben_Jackinoff

    She received a master's degree from Harvard Law School. She graduated. She graduated from Harvard Law School. It took me two seconds to check the above link and confirm this. The course was a master's degree.

  • 0

    ObviousDemon

    How is study of American Law in any way a benefit in The Empire of Japan?

    It's like studying Spanish for 5 years, then doing a Post Grad in Egyptian??????

    Still a large victory for the populace, against Oyagi-Inc.!!!!!

    Can any poster here explain how this vote worked.....mandatory/volunteer/% of population who voted etc??

  • 0

    LH10

    @ tokyokawasaki me too i dont care but "All I want to see is people with a kind heart, selfishness and an open mind in positions of power and leadership." lol! that'll never happen -_-# and when someone is like that they get assassinated.

  • 0

    LH10

    BWAHAHAHAHA! @ electric2004! lol! i'll make u tea hahahaha (⌒▽⌒)

  • -1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    This may be a step in the right direction for not only Shiga ken but for all of Japan. Omedetougozaimasu!!

  • -1

    anglootaku

    If she didn't go to Harvard but a different uni in the US, would she still have been elected?

  • -1

    Yardley

    @suitasteve

    Sorry to rain on Ms. Koshi's parade, but she did NOT graduate from Harvard Law School. She completed a 9 month program introduction to US law that is offered only to non-US lawyers. Very big difference.

    I'm just curious, where did you get this information? Everything I've read says she is a Harvard Law school graduate, who worked in NY in mergers and acquisitions. For example:

    http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120124p2a00m0na010000c.html http://news.yahoo.com/japan-elects-youngest-woman-mayor-070244711.html

    From the last paragraph in the Mainichi article, it seems she may have to work just as hard to change attitudes in her own family as she will to change those of the political/social establishment when it comes to the options for women in a modern society.

    However, she admits that she is still single. Watching his daughter taking on so many challenges, Koshi's 70-year-old father tells her that he hopes one day he will become a grandfather.

  • -1

    Yardley

    @suitasteve

    http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/degrees/gradprogram/llm/index.html

    It took me two seconds to find this.

  • -1

    Yardley

    Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that in addition to her MFA from Hokkaido University Graduate School of Law, she also attended Harvard for a one-year graduate course from which she earned an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree. In any case, I'm sure we can agree that she is a well-educated person.

  • -1

    Fadamor

    If you can read Japanese, you will see that she received an LL.M from Harvard Law School, which, like I said earlier, means she completed a 9 month course on US law.

    "Course" as in singular? Try again. From Harvard's website:

    The philosophy of the LL.M. program is to offer our students a broad platform on which to design their own course of study within parameters set by the Harvard Law School faculty. All students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 22 credit hours and a maximum of 26 credit hours in one academic year; most students complete between 22 and 24 credits.

    I don't know of any single course that awards a MINIMUM of 22 credits. Do you? Also, the courses (plural, as in "more than one") are not "Introduction to U.S. Law" as you alleged in your first post. Again, from Harvard's website:

    International LL.M. students are required to take at least one of the following courses in American Law: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Corporations, Criminal Law, Property, Taxation, and Torts. International students also must write either the 75- to 100-page LL.M. paper, the more extensive LL.M. thesis, or a paper of 25 or more pages that involves independent reflection, formulation of a sustained argument and, in many cases, outside research. Both types of papers may be written either independently or in conjunction with a seminar. Finally, we urge students to take at least one course focusing on legal history, legal theory, policy analysis or legal process.

    Bottom line is she DID graduate from Harvard with a Master of Laws degree after completing the required 22-26 credit-hours of study in a single academic year. This wasn't a "Basketweaving 101" degree.

  • -1

    Ben_Jackinoff

    How is study of American Law in any way a benefit in The Empire of Japan?

    Who said it was? She has been a qualified lawyer in Japan for years now. p.s. Japan is not an empire.

  • -2

    tmarie

    Title shouldn't concentrate on age and sex.

    It shouldn't but we all know it does in Japan. Step in the right direction. I have no idea what your issues are with someone who is looking out and wants to improve society.

  • -2

    malfupete

    snore...

  • -2

    Ben_Jackinoff

    I would imagine it would have been quite a disappointment to her if she had been elected Japan's youngest male mayor.

  • -2

    suitasteve

    @Fadamor, @Yardley:

    I got this info from her website:

    http://www.koshinaomi.net/?page_id=20

    If you can read Japanese, you will see that she received an LL.M from Harvard Law School, which, like I said earlier, means she completed a 9 month course on US law. Another great example of how sloppy most reporting is these days. It took me 5 minutes to find this information.

  • -4

    nisegaijin

    Women, older men, who cares?!

    Her policies are clearly socialistic, so I would never vote for her.

    Title shouldn't concentrate on age and sex.

    It should say something like:

    Socialist major elected in debt ridden Shiga.

  • -4

    RushO'Hannity

    " Sorry to rain on Ms. Koshi's parade, but she did NOT graduate from Harvard Law School. She completed a 9 month program introduction to US law that is offered only to non-US lawyers. "

    good enough for obama , good enough for this lass.

  • -5

    Franchesca Miyara Yang

    suitasteveJAN. 25, 2012 - 10:56AM JST

    I got this info from her website:

    http://www.koshinaomi.net/?page_id=20

    If you can read Japanese, you will see that she received an LL.M from Harvard Law School, which, like I said earlier, means she completed a 9 month course on US law. Another great example of how sloppy most reporting is these days. It took me 5 minutes to find this information.

    So she's a sham with shady credentials ok..great. The question is: ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

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