Happiness Icon – Future Governor of Tokyo

Written by BCCJ
October 15, 2021

Written by BCCJ
October 15, 2021

Over the past decade, Rina Bovrisse, founder of BCCJ member company A Inc has been named as a “Heroine of the Global Economy” by Bloomberg, a “Female Icon Of The Year” alongside Michelle Obama and Carla Bruni in Europe, and listed as among “The World’s Most Powerful Women” by Fortune.

Bovrisse is now ready to step into new territory, creating a manifesto based on Happiness –  for herself and the people of Tokyo.

This is not the first time for Bovrisse to announce political ambitions. In 2016, it was released that she would run for the post of Governor of Tokyo in 2020. Soon after the announcement, she disappeared from the public eye.


Family Priorities

Bovrisse is now back and ready to open up about her Governor of Tokyo elections goal and her new chapter of life.

“After it was confirmed I would run for the 2020 Governor of Tokyo election in 2016, my 10 year old son got a role on the national TV show for 2017-2018. He also said he was ready to apply to attend his dream school after the show’s finale. This timing was unexpected and I prioritised him.”

She goes onto explain, “I couldn’t say anything at that time because he was on the TV show every week. I didn’t want my election campaign media to put him as an instant target of cyber bullying or affect his dream school application. My only option was to disappear from the public eye. I understand it was unprofessional in the political world, but I wanted him to build his own foundation of life, not affected by my actions.”

Now that her son (14) is enjoying life as a student in Switzerland, Bovrisse has space to analyse larger issues in Tokyo including wellness and wellbeing. She confirms she will not run for the position of Tokyo Governor in 2024.


Master of Happy Living

“I am a naturally happy person. Tokyo has every reason to make people unhappy and in the past it almost changed me into someone I wasn’t. I need to make sure I enjoy and live in the best possible way. I want to have a nice life, and to spend the rest of my life doing meaningful work. If a leader is not happy about own life, it is not possible to make others happy. To inspire and try to make 14 million people’s lives better, I need to become the master of happy living first. That takes time.”

Bovrisse says that structural reforms such as increasing nurseries, providing parenting leave and female investment bankers speaking for women’s equality are ineffective to overcome key issues in Tokyo because the most important building block is missing: individual happiness.


World Happiness Index

She believes that despite Tokyo’s global rankings, its people are unhappy.

“In December 2020, Japan was ranked 62nd on the World Happiness Index while both the life expectancy and passport power ranked 1st in the world. Japan remains the third globally largest GDP. Japanese citizens live the longest in a highly developed economy and have the most access to travel around the world, yet, people are unhappy.”

Comparing Japan to other large economies, she says, “Japan’s World Happiness Index is almost 5 times worse than the United Kingdom’s ranks of 13th in 2020 and 17th in 2021. Tokyo is the megacity, the most populous urban area in the best condition in the world, but the citizens are unhappy. Individual happiness is an often missing part of the equation when determining the quality of life.”

Bovrisse’s resolve is not to be underestimated. A Chanel alumnus and a Parsons School of Design alma mater she was also the first person to take a women’s rights case from the fashion industry to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights.


Governor of Tokyo 2028?

With ambitions to create a “new iconic movement of happiness”, Bovrisse is reflective. “The pandemic revealed and detoxed many unnecessary things in life. The only thing we need at the end of the day is to go to bed feeling happy. I lost many friends taking their own lives over the past several years because they couldn’t see the purpose of life in Japan. Once I am able to create a new iconic movement of happiness, I will return as the strongest and the most effective candidate for Governor of Tokyo ever.”

Bovrisse does not rule out a bid for Tokyo’s 2028 gubernatorial elections.


Further reading

Small is GREAT XII | The Foundation for a Happy Life April 27 2018 HERE
The World’s Most Powerful Women June 17 2016 HERE
BCCJ Member Rina Bovrisse to Run as Tokyo Governor June 16 2016 HERE
Bloomberg September 9 2009 HERE