BCCJ Member Rina Bovrisse to Run for Tokyo Governor

Written by BCCJ
June 16, 2016

Written by BCCJ
June 16, 2016

On 15 June 2016, after being accused of spending public funds for private purposes including holidays and artwork, the Governor of Tokyo, Yoichi Masuzoe tendered his resignation letter just hours before he was expected to lose a no-confidence motion.

Masuzoe’s resignation will take effect on 21 June, with an election for his successor expected in late July or early August.His resignation came after officials from the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), which had supported his candidacy, turned on the governor in an attempt to avoid a voter backlash in key elections next month.

Among those intending to run as Masuzoe’s successor as Governor of Tokyo, and the first woman ever to do so, is BCCJ Entrepreneur Member, Rina Bovrisse. Bovrisse is a fashion executive, gender equality activist and entrepreneur known for her involvement in the Prada gender discrimination case, wherein she sought the involvement of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The small-business owner (Chateau School) is a single mother who understands the work/life balance challenges in Japan well. One reason Japan ranks a shocking 101st in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index behind Gambia and Tajikistan is a dearth of female voices in power.

The person elected to run Tokyo is a matter of global interest. Its metropolitan area – and 35 million-person population – is by far the biggest urban agglomeration economy, boasting extreme concentrations of power and wealth. Home to the second-highest number of Fortune 500 companies, Tokyo’s annual gross domestic product is $204 billion more than New York.

“Thirteen years ago, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi called for women to occupy 30% of leadership positions by 2020. In 2015, Abe’s team scaled this goal back drastically to 7% by 2021. I keep hearing about how Japan is championing women, making us shine, creating new opportunities, but this is all fiction, all talk,” says Bovrisse. “For women to enjoy real change, we need to do the jobs that men think are only for them. That’s why I’m running.”

A female leader who is not part of the old boys’ network would be an exciting step forward for Tokyo.  “Once you are involved in our political system, you get brainwashed and don’t see the problems because you lack real world experience,” Bovrisse says. “Wages are weak and income inequality is rising, but these men have no idea. This is the main reason things never change in Japan.”

The BCCJ wishes Ms. Bovrisse every success.

Learn more about Rina Bovrisse’s international pre-school, Chateau School, in Nishi-Azabu HERE

Source: Up & Down Asia, 15 June 2016 – The Woman Calling Out the Failures of Abenomics: http://www.barrons.com/articles/the-woman-calling-out-the-failures-of-abenomics-1465952263?mod=BOL_hp_highlight_4