Woman in Belgium becomes mayor in Japan

UNI -- Jun 22

A Japanese woman living in Belgium has become the mayor of Suginami, a district in Tokyo after she gained prominence through her online campaigning during the pandemic.

According to The Guardian, Satoko Kishimoto, 47, who has lived in the Belgian city of Leuven with her husband and children for a decade, is now mayor of Suginami city, a ward of 500,000 people, more than 5,800 miles away from her home.

She is a project coordinator working for not-for-profit Transnational Institute in Amsterdam. While she had travelled to Japan to campaign in recent weeks, her husband has said that the election result was a "huge surprise" and they were not yet planning to move to Japan as their youngest son is still in secondary school.

On Monday, he said, "During the Covid-19 crisis, when everything happened online, Satoko participated a lot in online public debates in Japan from Leuven.